Monday, July 2, 2012
I read two to blog post by Joe McClung, junior high school teacher whom has been a teacher for three years. At the end of every year, he does posts reflections on what he learned for that year. In his first year he was very inexperienced and learned a lot about himself as a person and teacher. He developed a mindset that was all about the teacher and loss touch with presenting a lesson. He realized that the lesson is supposed to be student centered. When the lesson is not student centered, the students do not understand the lesson. Joe seems to be very organized and had to learn that he should not beat himself up when his lesson plans for the day didn't go as planned. He was taking too much control of how he taught the class. He reflected on the mistakes that teachers make about their students. They tend to set very high expectations and when a student fails they scold them for failing. Instead of making the situation worse, teachers should encourage them to do better the next time. He mentioned that teacher should not be afraid of technology and learning computer skills. Teachers should be learning as well if they wanna make their students more advanced.
In his third year he became more established. It was his first time working at the same school for more than one year. He became a coach and basically more involved in school than the years before. When he began to take on these different roles he noticed an issue that decision making should be student centered and not for pleasing adults. He found himself worried about what other adults thought about him and had to learn that it is not about them at all. McClung is an optimist at everything he does. It bothered him to see that not all teachers were as enthusiastic about certain things as he was. He didn't want their negativity to bring down his joyful spirit so he became an outsider. He began to get along with the students more and enjoyed their company more than the other teachers. He learned that teachers often work for the students and they never learn skills that way so it is best to let them do the hard work because it will soon pay off. Getting comfortable was another issue that he addressed in his blog. As a solution to this problem, he developed new and more challenging tasks to prevent him from having routines. This year he also joined committees.
At the end of this post, he left the audience with the question, is this an achievable goal to not be a passive educator but movers and shakers for change in their schools? After reading this question, I thought to myself is this possible and I believe that it is so. Throughout this blog McClung has addressed the issues and possible solutions from his own experiences. His blogs have provided me with advice on how to overcome those issues that teachers will have. I have known about some of the issues that he talks about. For the first time, I feel like they are noticed by someone. It goes to show that there are some caring teachers out there who are honest with themselves and strives to make their schools a much better place. I wanna become that type of teacher who does those same things as Joe McClung.