Sunday, March 27, 2011
Blog Post 9
"What I've Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung
As a first year instructor, Mr. McClung wanted to look back on that year and evaluate what he had learned. He sets a great example just by doing this but we can look at what he has learned and try to apply these lessons in our own teaching careers and our lives in general. Mr. McClung says, "In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction". As I read this, it brought to mind how most teachers are strong armed into teaching to the test. As educators, it will be easy to "lose touch with our audience" when we will be pressured to provide results in the form of good standardized test scores. Mr. McClung may not have had this particular situation in mind when he wrote this, but this was a reminder that the students are the number one priority and we have to be able to relate to them if we are to reach them. This goes hand in hand with listening to your students. Students have to know that they matter to you. Like Mr. McClung says, you may be the only one that does listen. Establishing a relationship with students can have far reaching effects, much further than the classroom. Teachers can change lives.
When Mr. McClung spoke of being reasonable and being flexible, I felt these also went hand in hand. You can't expect perfection from your students or from yourself. I really like the message that he gives us in regard to this. Set the bar high, but if you don't meet the goal, learn from that and use that, instead of becoming discouraged. Like his title said, stay positive!
Communication is probably the most difficult thing about Mr. McClung's post. Those of you who know me are probably laughing right now because I usually do not lack for something to say. True communcation can be difficult for me. If I have strong feelings (anger, confusion, embarrassment,etc...), it can be hard for me to express that. I do know that Mr. Mcclung is right; communication is the best medicine. The older I get, the more I realize that. This is an important lesson that should apply to all areas of our life. Communication is the lifeblood of relationships.
Don't be afraid of technology and never stop learning. Doesn't that sound familiar? I think this is the mantra of this semester. If I haven't learned anything else this semester, it will be these two things. So far, I have been dipping my feet in, trying to feel out the waters but I am going to trust Mr. McClung and just jump in head first....he says the water is fine!