Monday, October 17, 2011
Blog Post #9
What all did Mr. McClung learn?
While the idea to write a reflective blog post seems like a no-brainer, I am surprised at the teachers who rarely take the time to scan through their mind and extract the valuable lessons learned over the course of the year(s). I can't help but wonder if those teachers are really taking enough away from their profession. In my humble opinion, I can't think of a more rewarding career than to be a teacher, and I want to do everything in my power to take away all the beauty I can from this astounding profession. It should go without saying that the main source of joy for any good teacher comes from their children. I don't believe this is always the case, but it certainly seems to be with Mr. McClung.
Mr. McClung constantly refers to how important his students are to him throughout his years. During his first year, he states "he lost touch with his audience" and began making lesson plans that weren't quite as student centered. One important lesson I took from this experience of his, was that your audience has an audience too, and that audience is you! By this I mean, it is important to consider how your students view the lesson being taught, methods used, tools utilized, etc. more so than it is to worry if the lesson is flawless or if you look or feel silly teaching it. While it is extremely- and I mean extremely- important that future educators set out on a quest to make learning interesting for students, we shan't lose sight of their understanding. It is not impossible to integrate the two.
Mr. McClung also addresses the issue of communication. Communication, you say? Aren't we all in college and should know perfectly well how to communicate with others? Well now, we all know that is not the case (especially those of us who happen to be married). I fully believe that teachers should learn to communicate with one another, supervisors, superintendents, students, parents, extracurricular educators, and even bus drivers via technology but also face to face. When trying to create a comfortable environment where teachers feel supported, eye contact, body language, and tone are such important skills to master. This brings me to another one of Mr. McClung's points of interest. He speaks in regards to his last year of teaching that feeling supported by all of his teachers or administrators was not of utmost importance to him. He claims that he is ok not fitting in, and actually enjoys its ramifications. I have seen the "teacher clicks" with my own two eyes at the school where my mom teaches. I have seen and heard of teachers talking amongst themselves about which teacher is too involved, or which one is too loud, or which one doesn't make her kids mind, and the list could go on. I really enjoy Mr. McClung's point of view. He believes that as long as he is providing the best, most effective, and entertaining instruction for his students, then fitting in doesn't matter. He also states that he has one teacher he talks to on a regular basis. This teacher is his sole support and he draws a lot of inspiration from her. I really admire his ability to overcome the negative feedback or shots to his optimism. I can only hope that I will be able to overcome those obstacles and stay afloat in the same way.
Of course Mr. McClung also touches on technology and lifelong learning. He emphasizes what we have all been forced to realize this semester: educational tools- be they technological, artistic, or some other medium- are forever changing. Teaching is not a field where it is appropriate to sit back and just let the good times roll. There are so few constants in our world that we must constantly stay up to date for the sake of our children.
I really enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's reflective post and I believe it gave me a lot of great ideas and insight into what I have already learned from this class, as well as from my educational experience in general. Once again, the knowledge I gained from the media presented in this class has fired me up to be a teacher! Thanks, Dr. Strange, Mr. McClung, and Mr. Chamberlain!