At the Teachers Desk
For this blog post I had the pleasure of reading a few posts by Mr. McClung. The posts were about his experiences and what he learned throughout the first three years of teaching. I was instructed to only read two of the posts, but I thought it was proper to read all three. Especially after I read the first one and then the last; I had to read the middle post. It was interesting to see how his outlook on things changed.
He continues to list things he has learned from year to year. The list in the beginning is somewhat different from the end list. In his first year, the most important thing he learned is to stay positive. He talks about being flexible and having good communication with the students. One piece that got to me was that he saw teachers more concerned with teaching the material correctly that they lose sight of the children. They become consumed in just the material. I hope that I never become so concerned with the material and teaching it correctly that I lose sight of what I plan to achieve in my classroom.
Letting the audience guide my lesson is the perfect way to get to the audience's attention. Audience meaning the children. First and for most, if the children are not interested in the lesson then teachers are wasting their time. If they become the lesson and are engaged in it; then the students will actually learn. Mr. McClung wrote about good communication and how important it is. Yes we must all as teachers have a proper relationship with our students that involves good communication.
From reading these posts, I have learned that a day in the classroom is ever-changing and I need to plan to be flexible, to roll with the changes. If something goes different with my lesson, I can not let it bother me. Teachers need to be prepared to change up their plans from day to day. One point he made was to listen to the students. This I know is very important. I think of children who have no one at home to talk to, children who do not have people to turn to when in trouble. The teacher could be this person. That's what I plan to do. I know I say this over and over in my posts but I hold this statement close to my heart; I want to be the one who makes a change if not in all of my students, then just one. As Mr. McClung pointed out, teachers might be the only person that will listen to these children. Its a sad world we live in and we, as teachers, should be there to help the children and guide them in directions that no one else will.
After reading these posts, I have learned that I need to keep myself motivated. I hope that teachers do not lose what they set out to do in the schools. Teaching is a gift to me. A gift that not everybody gets to experience. Seeing the children learn and succeed is more than a gift. It is a honor. What the students bring in the classroom is another thing that Mr. McClung learned. He stated that he learned to "learn with the students". Teachers should be open minded to the students and what they have to offer. They do not come in as 'blank slates", as the old teacher centered generation thinks. Sometimes they come in the classroom with more knowledge about certain things than the teacher has. So, why wouldn't a teacher be susceptible to learning from them. I know I will be. I hope I get to experience the lessons that Mr. McClung has over the past three years. I take these posts as advice to upcoming teachers and I know I will surely take it and apply it in my classroom.