"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?"
-- Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blog Assignment 9

"What I've Learned This Year" by: Mr. McClung

I truly enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's post. He made so many good points about his first year of teaching. I think some of the things he mentioned are the things we tend to forget.

First of all he says that we need to learn how to "read the crowd". When he brought this up, my first thought was, well of course we should know our students. He took it a bit farther. I think that most teachers do get so wrapped up in getting the point across, they forget to make sure the students get the point. We need to be focused 100% on what the students are understanding, after all, isn't that the point of being a teacher?

I really liked the next point he made. We have to be flexible. When it comes to things I've planned, I'm not as flexible as I should be. Mr. McClung tells us not to stress over things that don't go as perfectly as we plan. I know that is something I seriously need to work on.

The next point Mr. McClung makes is about how important communication is. It seems like something we should already know. However, I think it's one of those things we don't think about. In my time working with kids, I've learned that sometimes they just need to talk. They feel a million times better if they know someone cared to listen.

The next point he makes is to be reasonable. I agree. A lot of teachers hold students as being perfect and that their class is the only one we have. Now I'm not saying we should all be slackers and not do anything, but we aren't perfect. As a teacher, I feel like it's important to understand the capability of students and hold them to that standard, not one for them to be perfect.

Don't be afraid of technology. That's a mouthful for some of us. Mr. McClung tells us to embrace technology and not be scared of it. Most of us [or maybe it's just me] tend to like the way things have always done. I like change, don't get me wrong. Technology is just overwhelming sometimes. This class is definitely helping through my anxieties though.

He talks about listening to our students. I think I already touched on that before. It is extremely important and I agree with him wholeheartedly on this point. Next he encourages us to never stop learning. I don't think we ever stop learning. Ever. Sometimes it might be a small fact we never knew...[Did you know iguanas hibernate? Yeah, neither did I until last year when I watched an episode of Go, Diego, Go.] or it might be learning how to use a new piece of technology when we're 90 years old. The point is...we never stop.

Overall, I really loved this post. Like I said before, it reminds of somethings we don't always think about it. I will definitely take these and apply them to my teaching. Actually if you think about it, many of these apply to life in general. This post gives us all somethings to think about.


  1. I think a lot of new teachers will have to work on being flexible because in our first year, we want everything to go perfect and as planned. On the other hand, in a real classroom, things will change and the lesson will not always go as planned. Some teachers get so upset with themselves when things don’t work out that they begin to question their ability to teach. As a first year teacher, we will make mistakes and we will be taken out of our comfort zone. I think when this happens, the teacher must do the most important point that he made out of all his points, that is to listen to the students. Not only listening with your ears but listening in all ways. For example, when a student is constantly misbehaving in your class, what is that student saying to you?

  2. I agree with you! When kids misbehave I think, and it's probably cliche of me to say this, but they more than likely just want attention, just someone to notice them. I agree that we need to listen in all ways, such as noticing their behavior, and the things they don't say out loud.

  3. Good post Emily!
    I think you really touched on all the things that are important in Mr. McClung's post. I hope you will use his advice when you become a teacher to help guide you in all of these situations.

    Keep up the good work, your blog looks great!

    Stephen Akins

  4. Thanks Stephen! Hopefully I will remember all of his advice!

  5. Hi Emily! Your thoughts and ideas about Mr. McClungs post are very similar to mine! I also hope I remember some of his advice as well! In my post I also said that I think the most important thing is to be flexible. It is so important because you must be willing to adapt to change. Everything doesn't alwasy go as planned and you must be prepared for anything. This is something I will implement in my classroom for sure! It was nice to "meet" you Emily!

  6. Thanks Leigh! It was nice to "meet" you too!