"What I've Learned this Year"
This blog post chronicles some of the things that Mr. McClung learned in his first year of teaching. Mr.McClung did his first year of teaching at an elementary school in Noel, Missouri. While teaching he says that he learned some very valuable lessons and he uses this blog to share those lessons with fellow educators.
The first lesson that Mr.McClung learned was "how to read the crowd." As new educators, we sometimes focus too much on how our lessons come across to our superiors. Instead, we should be worried about how effective our lessons were on teaching our students. Our lessons should be student centered and we should always be checking for student comprehension.
The next lesson learned is that we must be flexible. You should never expect a perfect lesson, because the truth is that nothing is perfect. Mr. McClung says that during his first year of teaching he often beat himself up if a lesson did not go as he planned. However, now he realizes that things are not going to perfect and that we must make the best of our mistakes (and always with a smile).
Communication is yet another lesson learned. Communication is so important in every aspect of life. We must build a rapport with our fellow educators and make sure we can communicate effectively with our students. Also, communication skills are hard to develop and must be practiced constantly in order to build strong relationships.
Be reasonable; this lesson speaks for itself. We must remember that we are teaching children and while it is great to have expectations, we must not set the bar too high. Students can only do so much and to expect more than they can handle only leads to disappointment for all involved. The students are not perfect and neither are we; we must remember this. As Mr. McClung said, "Our job as teachers is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again."
Another lesson Mr. McClung talked about is don't be afraid of technology. Instead of treating computers like they are trying to take over the world, we should embrace their use in the classroom. We can not expect to master everything about computers on the first try, but we must never give up.
The last two lessons Mr. McClung talked about are to listen to your students and never stop learning. Teachers may be the only people to truly listen to what children have to say and it is important that we do. We must build relationships with our students and learn everything we can about them in order to earn their respect in the classroom. Lastly, we must never stop learning. It is never too late to change and we must be willing to adapt. We expect our students to come to school and learn everyday, but many teachers believe they are above learning anything else. This is not the way it should be. As stated by Mr. McClung, "We work in a learning environment, so why not soak up as much as you can? We owe it to our students."
I really enjoyed reading this blog post because I believe it will be quite helpful on my journey to becoming a teacher. Every teacher, and aspiring teacher, should read this blog and keep these things in mind as they enter the classroom. My favorite lesson that Mr. McClung talked about was listening to the students. Often times we are so busy trying to get through a lesson that we don't take time to hear what the students say. We must make time to hear these students out if we ever expect them to take us seriously. I also liked Mr. McClung's quote about dusting our students off after they fail, and encouraging them to try again. Mistakes are a part of everyday life and we must not expect our students to get everything right the first time. Our most important lessons are usually learned through mistakes. I look forward to reading more of Mr. McClung's blog posts and am really grateful to have his lessons learned to look back on as I enter the adventure of teaching!