I enjoyed reading the posts written by Mr. McClung in the blog, At The Teacher's Desk. For the assignment, we were to read 2 out of 4 of Mr. McClung's reflective post, one being Version 4. Since I am a person who has always pictured myself being a teacher, it was exciting to read real life examples of classroom experiences. Mr. McClug's zeal for teaching and learning is one to be admired. I enjoyed Mr. McClug's reflections and found myself reading all four of the recommended posts. These were all of value to me so I quickly added his blog to my PLN.
First, I read the post referring to Mr. McClung's first year of teaching. As the day that I take my first classroom approaches, reality sets in and, naturally, I'm quite nervous. Excited, but nervous! With that being said, I diligently read what Mr. McClung had written, taking every piece of advice to heart. I'm definitely a people-pleaser. I can't stand to have anyone mad at me, or disappointed in me, or judging me. However, when I begin teaching I will have to realize that it is about what my students and superiors think of me rather than what my peers think. Mr. Clung advises teachers to communicate-with peers, superiors and students in order to build relationships and resolve workplace drama. Among this, he also said to embrace technology and to be reasonable when dealing with students.
Mr. McClung's advice to read the crowd and be to be flexible stood out to me the most. Once again, it's all about the kids. He says to let your audience drive your lessons and not to panic when your "perfect lessons" don't go as planned. These are all facts that I know I need to remember. To me, it's so easy to get lost in planning the perfect lesson that you think other teachers would like when, in actuality, your expectations cannot be too high. Children are going to let you down when they don't meet the expectations that you had for them. Mr. McClung says to work with the mistakes that happen wether those are your mistakes or a student's mistake. All of this information is so valuable for beginning teachers. I know when my first year of teaching comes, I'll be re-reading this post to make sure that I am on track.
Version 4 of Mr. McClung's posts was also very valuable. He reiterates some of the facts stated in Version 2 and Version 3 of his reflective posts. Staying true to yourself and who you are as a teacher and the desire to challenge yourself are two great pieces of knowledge that he shares. I loved Mr. McClung's one rule: "are the kids having fun". I believe that sometimes we get consumed with what we think has to be discussed in lessons and what we are "supposed" to teach that we miss some "teachable moments". Ms. Wilson, the 4th grade teacher that I am currently observing always tells me to embrace those times. If an outsider walked into her classroom they would see kids around the room and would, most likely, think that her class was in chaos. Realistically, she is embracing every child's specific needs while still being an outstanding teacher to the class. I've learned so much from her in the short months that I've been in her class. She and Mr. McClung believe in reading the crowd and being flexible. Of course, we have to stay on track but most of the time we have to go with the flow of our students. It's difficult to do this while keeping the focus but I think it's so valuable to students to know that their teacher really is concerned about them.