What I’ve Learned this Year (2008-2009)This was Mr. McClung’s first year of teaching. He says an important decision he made this year was to be positive. When he first started teaching he was so worried about how his supervisors thought he did that he didn’t focus on teaching the students how they needed to be taught. He says that teachers come so focused on the delivery of a lesson that they forget to check for comprehension. Being flexible is another aspect he learned. Lesson plans do not have to be one hundred percent perfect. You must be able to adjust your lesson plans as you see fit depending on your students. If something is not working when you are teaching then change it. Each student learns different. Communication is very important in everyday life. He says you must have a good communication line with fellow teachers and students. He says being reasonable is important. We can set high expectations of our students but we need to be aware that sometimes some of them will not make them and that is okay. He says they are not perfect and neither are we. We should encourage them to do their best. Mr. McClung says do not be afraid of technology. Sometimes it takes a little effort to learn new technology but it is well worth it. If we don’t succeed the first time we shouldn’t give up we should just try again. Listening to your students is very important. He has the student’s complete end of the year surveys and one student said he knows his teacher cares for him because he listens to him. He says in order to build a good relationship with your students you have to take interest in their lives. The last thing on his list of things he learned is to never stop learning. Mr. McClung says we almost beg our students daily to learn and some still refuse to learn. We should continue to learn ourselves so that we can find a new way to spark their interest on learning.
I have a fear of not teaching my students in a way they need to be taught in fear that someone is watching over my shoulder. I can read aloud to students but if another adult is in the room I get very nervous. I worry sometimes too much about the delivery instead of sparking their interest. This is something I will get over but will need help with. I have children of my own so I know being flexible is very important when dealing with students. Each individual is different and they will respond and learn different. Lesson plans are a base in my opinion. They can be added to or adjusted as the teacher sees fit. The teacher will be able to determine very quickly if the students are learning. If they are not then something needs to be fixed at that moment. Setting high expectations of ourselves and students can be a good thing but we do need to understand that every student will not be able to meet them. Some students will go beyond our expectations and some will meet them as we planned. We should always encourage everyone regardless of how much of our expectations they are able to meet. Technology in the classroom is new to me as I am older going back to school. When I was in school we didn’t have that much technology. I am excited to learn about these new things but I do admit that I am scared that I might not catch on as fast. I have a feeling that my students will be able to help me. My two year old plays on my ipad everyday with no problems. Sometimes I think that kids these days are born with a technological brain. Listening to your students is very important. I worked in an elementary school and the children are very eager to tell you about their pets, parents, grandparents, favorite toys, and everything else. We should show an interest in them. They need to know that we care about them as a person not just the kid in the classroom. We do have to remember how to act in a professional way and not be too personal but we can have a relationship with our students. We should always be looking to learn new things. We benefit ourselves and our students when we learn new things. I think it would be a neat idea to have the students and the teacher to make a journal. Each Friday they would have to write one thing that they learn that week. I as a teacher would do the same thing. This might make the students eager to learn something so that they could put it in their journal. We could also share in small groups what we learned.
Version 4 Post (2011-2012)
Mr. McClung has been writing reflective blog posts describing what he learned from teaching that year. The previous years he learned much more than he did this year. He only had two lessons that stuck out in his mind. Over the years he has never worried too much about what his fellow teachers thought about him or his teaching style. He usually only worries about what his students and supervisors thought. This year was different he was worried about what his peers thought about how he taught his students. This had an effect on his mood. He later realized that he can’t change himself to please others. He needs to stay true to his way of teaching. Making sure that his students are learning and enjoying learning that is the most important.
We tend to worry too much about what others think. Sometimes we have great ideas and are scared to pursue them because of what others may think. As teachers we need to be able to be confident in what we know and just teach it. We learn how our students learn and we can make it enjoyable for them. Our students will learn much more when they are having fun.
Mr. McClung has been teaching in the same school and teaching the same subjects for three years. This year he was a bit more lazy. He used the same old lessons plans he had used each year. He didn’t put much thought into anything. He didn’t add any new things to the classroom. He had got comfortable in his class and felt it was okay as it was. The students were not assigned anything fun or interesting.
Many teachers are guilty of being too comfortable in their lesson plans. They reuse lesson plans each year and change nothing. With sites such as pinterest we can always add something to our lesson plans. They always have many fun easy ideas that be incorporated into any classroom. Students talk to other students about what they did in class and if it was boring or fun. I hope that my students leave my classroom talking about how interesting my class is. I say this all the time but I believe it very much, students that have fun learn more.