Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Post Assignment #9

Mr. Joe McClung

Mr. McClung has been teaching since the fall of 2009. He is an assistant principal at Leverett Elementary School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Prior to becoming an assistant principal, he taught at McDonald Country, Missouri and Dardanelle, in Arkansas. At the end of each school year he writes a reflection blog post of what he has learned, his accomplishments, and his adventures.

Learn to Reflect-image of a reflection garden
One of those blog posts are from his 2011-2012 year, called "What I Learned this Year Volume 4." One of the topics in his year 4 reflection was worrying all year of what his peers thought of him as a teacher. He had never worried before about what his colleagues thought of his teaching style but for some reason it really go the best of him in his 4th year. His one rule for teaching is whether or not the his students are having fun learning from him. If they are having fun then he knows he is on the right path. So the lesson is always remember who you are teaching for, and you can never go wrong in how your teaching.

The second point Mr. McClung makes in this post is to "Challenge Yourself." He says that this past year he became to comfortable teaching the same thing for the third year in a row. He relied heavily on past lesson plans and activities instead of putting forth the effort to create new ones. If you become comfortable and lazy as a teacher you students will not want to go to class and they will not want to learn. Thankfully he got the opportunity to teach a different subject which means all new lesson plans. It will be a lot of work but as a teacher he is looking forward to it.

Reflection CircleI think both points Mr. McClung makes are important lessons for teachers. It is important to always remember who you are teaching. Your job as a teacher is not to compete with your fellow teachers as to who's classroom is better or who teaches better. Your job is to teach to your students in the best way you know how. And to make learning fun for your students so they will want to go to school and want to go to your class. It is also extremely important not to become complacent in what you are teaching. If you are bored or lazy with what you are doing then more than likely your students are to. This is why so many kids hate school. If they do the same boring thing every day with the same boring class then they do not want to be there. Their learning process ceases to exist! Don't be complacent!

The next blog post I read was "What I Learned this Year" from 2010-2011. This was his first year teaching at the same school for more than a year. It was also his first year as a coach and a computer applications teacher. He says, "our decision making process should always be student centered and not centered around pleasing adults." Always remember you became a teacher for the kids not everyone else. Another lesson he learned in his third year was that sometimes other teachers are not excited for change in the classroom. Don't let what others think or feel about new techniques influence they way you feel about them. If your an optimist be an optimist take the new you learn and implement it in your classroom. Don't shy away of trying new things because your peers do not like it.

Reflect Water Drop
Another point he makes in this post is don't do the student's work for them. If they are having trouble with an assignment or project don't show them how to do it by doing it form them, talk or walk them through it. You can help them without doing the work for them. His last point in this blog post is do not get to comfortable. Your first year of teaching you are figuring everything out because everything is new. The next years are easier because you have done it all before so then it becomes a routine. Do not settle in to the routine of the same thing or your teaching becomes complacent. We all should take a moment and Reflect!