Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Assignment #9

Mr. McClung's First Year Experience

I think that this is an awesome assignment. My end of the year reflection video last year was so insightful to me. I wanted to begin What I've Learned Year 1 because I will be in this position in just 2 short years. I chose to began with year one so that I could see what I should possibly look forward to in my first year of teaching. I know that everyone has different experiences, but this may be a tool that I can use to prepare myself. 

How To Read a Crowd
In this section, Mr. McClung tells about how most first year teachers get so wrapped up in what how their superiors are evaluating them that they forget about the REAL objective...THE STUDENTS! I think that most first year teachers do this because they are so wanting to impress the wrong people. I could give a rat's behind about what my co-workers thought of me, as long as my students were understanding what I was teaching. Excuse the language, but when I am passionate about something, the tongue gets a little loose. 

Flexibility, Listening To Your Students and Communication
Mr. McClung makes the points of being flexible and communication with both students and other teachers. This is an A1 idea! We all will try to plan out the best way to teach the lesson but things may not always work out as planned. My idea is to use a lesson plan as a guide line and not to go by it verbatom. Get the students input on how they learn. Pass out a worksheet asking them what qualities they look for in instruction. Do they do better with verbal, visual or both? 

Flexibility and Communication 
Student/Teacher communication is vital in my opinion. If a student is too afraid to come to his or her teacher and ask then he or she may not get what her or she needs from the lesson being taught. I think that teachers aren't just the person that teaches you academia...sometimes teachers are the only people that students can go to in his or her time of need. When I was in school, my counselor was my Math teacher, Mr. Cliff Allred. We told him our circumstances and he would listen. Even though it was not in his job description, he listened to his students and told them what they needed to hear. He was an awesome math teacher as well, but the fact that his student could come to him with personal problem was a major plus for him. My cisco teacher, Mr. Andrew Large was also a great example of a teacher/counselor. 

I feel as though teachers put so much effort into being right and playing by the rules they forget that students just need listening ear sometimes. I still, til this day, talk to those two teachers about my issues. Oh, my 2nd grade teacher was so close to my family that she became my nana!! My nana and I have lunch dates til this very day. 

Getting to know your students and fellow teachers can be made easier by communicating with them. I like the idea of what Dr. McGowan (EDU400) did for us when we first came into the classroom. We did icebreakers for the first 3 weeks of class until we became comfortable with one another; including herself. Say you don't understand what a student needs, communicating with your fellow teach allows you to open the door for collaborative ideas that can impact that child's life in the classroom. I know that as a special education teacher, their will be a lot of things that I may not know or understand in the beginning, but I know that if you don't will never know. 

Be Reasonable
DON'T PUSH TOO HARD! Some teachers fail to realize that. Putting too much on your students can stress them completely out. I know that teachers expect their students to be the best they can be, but teachers tend to lose sight of the fact that school isn't the only place where they are expected to excel. Some students are honor students, some student are athletes, and some students have parents that expect double the effort. I know all this because I was one of those students that everyone expected to be Ms. Honors all the way through. Even though I was, when it came to college, I didn't have the same push and I lacked that motivation. I began to settle for Cs and Ds because I didn't have friends their to push me on. I had to become my own support system. Teachers need to be a little more sensitive to what a student is doing outside the classroom because as a teacher, you just really don't know. My idea is to let my student create his or her own goals that they want to achieve by the end of the year. Then I am going to give my students a goal to reach by the end of the year. That way the have individual goals as well as a goal as a whole. Expectations should be goals that students can achieve, so be reasonable. 

Don't Be Afraid of Technology and Lastly.....Never Stop Learning

I think that the younger generation of teachers better understand how valuable technology is in the classroom. Okay so if your high school history teacher knows nothing about the computer she is typing on, who does she ask? Well, my history teacher would ask any Cisco Academy student for help. It just so happened that majority of my class were Cisco students. Mr. McClung stresses this point in part of his blog. He describes adults reaction to computers as a "horror film". I thought that was so interesting. In contrast, I know some teachers that go to educational conventions just to find about new strategies and technologies, but they had to step out of their comfort zone to do so. I think this is a That also ties into Never Stop Learning. As a teacher, you have to be open-minded to new and developing ideas. Each year something new comes out in the technological department, especially when it comes to education. As a teacher, you have to be on your game because it is so easy to fall behind. The generation of students are more and more advanced and if we can't keep up, we can't do our job.

Mr. McClung's 4th Year and Counting

Now, let's look at What I've Learned Year 4. I chose this particular post, not only because it was required, but because it is a more current update on what Mr. McClung is up to these days. I just want to see what his most current findings are for newly sprouting teachers. He isn't old, but he isn't new to the game either. He has some experience under his belt now so let's see what other tips he has for new teachers. In this post he only chose two themes, "You Gotta Dance With Who You Came To Dance With" and "Challenge Yourself". 

You Gotta Dance With Who You Came To Dance With
Okay, I know I am not the only one to say that this headline does not fit the substance in this paragraph....almost! When I began reading this, I was not expecting him to talk about him giving in to the pressure of worrying about what his co-workers thought of his teaching performance. Luckily, he snapped back into reality because the reality of it all is that your co-workers don't sign your paychecks nor do they have to take your test to determine comprehension. 
Challenge Yourself
So, Mr. McClung began to get too comfortable with his lesson plan and things started to become drab. This is the issues that most teachers have. They teach the same subject every year and instead of creating new ideas each year, they just go with the same thing. I see that education isn't only affecting the students' creativity, but the teachers' creativity also. The question I have is, "Who's fault is that?" Is it the fault of the schoolboard for all the red tape that teachers have to surpass in order to teacher? Or is the fault of the teacher for not pushing past the red tape to make sure his or her students, not only comprehend, but enjoy what they are learning? The world my never know. Everyone has his or her own opinion. As a teacher, your creativity is your best friend. Kids get bored extremely easy and to keep their attention is crucial. With that being said, if you are a teacher and you use the same thing year after year after year...try something out of the ordinary. The world is a HUGE place. Gather ideas and get back to your creative ways!! I DARE YOU!! For future teachers, never be afraid to push the limits of what you can do in the classroom. Remember that it is YOUR classroom and YOUR students and YOUR job to make sure that these kids learn.

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