Saturday, October 27, 2012
Blog post #9
The first year at a new school is difficult for anyone, especially the teacher. Mr. Joe McClung was no exception to this rule. He shared his reflection in his blog "At the Teacher's Desk" This blog is invaluable to anyone who is about to begin their teaching career.
The first year
Mr. McClung learned a lot during his first year. One thing he learned was to be able to "read the crowd". The most beneficial part to this lesson is to see that a teacher cannot be focused on themselves. The student is the most important person in the classroom. Teachers must be able to decipher their students' reactions and act without any regard to the lesson plan. This lesson ties in with the next which is "be flexible". He remarks that trying to maintain total control in the classroom is harmful to the students. He also states that:"No lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different." Next was "be reasonable". High expectations from students are a common thread among teachers. From time to time students don't perform as well as expected. The most dangerous thing to do at this point is to get upset. Don't allow emotions to ruin a classroom setting. "Don't be afraid of new technology." Technology is a tool that must be used if students are to be successful. "Listen to your students." This will build respect between student and teacher. The last point is "never stop learning". The best thing educators can do for their students is to never stop learning. This will allow for a much more engaging experience.
The fourth year
In the fourth year of his teaching Mr. McClung claimed that he didn't learn as much as had in previous years. He said that he spent a large portion of the year worrying about how his peers were viewing him as an educator. He decided that this was the wrong thing to do. He had built a strong relationship with his students, so why should he sacrifice everything that he had accomplished by trying to change his ways? Next he began to talk about challenging yourself. This will ensure that lessons stay fresh and creative. If the lesson plan goes stale the students will no longer be as engaged by the subject material and grades will surely suffer.
The take home message
Why is this blog an important one for educators? Mr. McClung prepares teachers for what lies ahead. He tells his audience that it is ok to be yourself. In fact if you stay true to yourself, the amount the students will learn will increase. To bring this full circle it is the utmost importance that the teachers remember that the student is most important person in the classroom. It is not the teacher, other educators, or even the administration staff. If teachers can hold on to this principle then the classroom will surely become a better place for learning. The last important thing to remember is to be flexible. Teachers cannot exercise too much control over any classroom setting and expect children to learn. The lesson plan must allow for changes that will ensure the maximum amount of learning is achieved.