Learning from Mr. McClung
After reading all 3 of Mr. McClung's blog post entries, I decided to write my post # 9 concentrating on his first and last posts. There is a major shift of character in Mr. McClung's writing voice between his first year teaching and this past year of teaching.
I believe he speaks many valid points in his first post but, we'll touch base on the 2 that stood out to me the most. 1) Being reasonable is a must have especially in elementary education. I must emphasis on the word especially in the previous sentence because elementary school is where kids truly learn the basics of life. Their tiny brains expand with knowledge that will carry them throughout their life and will help process harder applications in the future. Just think, you can't do chemistry without addition and subtraction, which you learn in kindergarten. That being said, holding an elementary child to a high standard is a given. As educators you want them to grasp every concept you put on their plate but, a lot of times that may not be the case. You will have children that will excel and others who will unfortunately fail. Some instances might be the way you deliever the lesson or better yet HOW you deliever the lesson. 2) Don't be afraid of technology. Wow, me, say that?! Dr. Strange had a chip implanted behind my ear the other day...JK! Seriously though, this point brings up a lot of fears I had (and to a degree still have) regarding technology. Before taking EDM 310 I was one of the future educators afraid to jump into the water as Mr. McClung puts it. I think that my fear lead to my inability to accept what technology could actually do for a student. Going back to the idea of "how you're teaching a student" might be a good place to start if a child is having difficulties picking up on something.
By the time you get to the end of Mr. McClung's final blog post, you feel his experience of becoming comfortable in his teaching skin. At this point in the game he has become a head coach, started teaching computer applications, and joined some committees. The primary focus of a teacher should always be their students and it pains me to see some educators lose sight of that focus. Many revert back to their childhood by becoming the "teacher's pet" to higher administration. I love the paragraph when he discussing being an outsider because I have witnessed with my own eyes what negativity can go on inside a teacher's lounge. When you're a substitute teacher for a high demanding private school, you can hear and see things that would frighten the flies!!!!!!! I found it best (I was an interim sub for a teacher on maternity leave a few years ago) to go about my own business and not try to fit in as well. At this point in my life, I wasn't even an education major so I was really looked down upon for NOT trying to be in a teacher's lounge clique. Just like Mr. McClung, I found it more fulfilling to be with the students during lunch because I could communicate with them on a different level while still maintaining my professionalism. It's a lot less scary than being in the classroom. I do disagree with him however on the issue of connecting with the students via social media outlets except when it comes to a classroom blog.
When he brings up Mrs. Barron's point of "don't touch the keyboard" I wanted to slap my own hand with a ruler because I am sooooo incredibly guilty of being the person who feels bad for the student who can't complete his/her work. I have unfortunately, during my subbing days, given very colorful explanations of questions that would give the answer away. I'm just that "feel sorry for you" future teacher. I know that doing this for a student doesn't benefit them at all so I'm confident that when I have my own classroom I will stray from this to the best of my ability. I haven't heard a teacher in Mobile Co use the word comfortable in a positive light in quite some time but, at any rate, becoming comfortable in the sense that Mr. McClung refers to is very common. Too often teachers stick to that 7-3 mindset and do not consider what positive influences you can have on your students by putting in more effort away from the classroom. It's so easy to create and save daily lessons and use them over and over and over again. How boring is that? Very!!! But, how easy is it for you to come to work, teach, go home, sleep, come to work, teach go home;you get the idea. I know some lessons are worth the repeat but, everything shouldn't stay the same. As adults we say "you learn something new everyday" if we find out that Krystal's uses yellow onions instead of vidalia onions, if we're learning even the slightest bit of knowledge daily, shouldn't we allow our students the same treatment?
In conclusion Mr. McClung's blog posts thoughts are probably not too far fetch from what we will experience as first year teachers. I think each of us will develop differently throughout our teaching years. Some may have a journey like his, some may not. All in all I think he's really evolved as an educator and I trust that he will continue the climb within this field.