Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blog Post #9

learning flexibility slinky

This is a teachers blog where  Joe McClung reflects on his progress at the end of each school year, beginning from his very first year teaching.
Our assignment is to choose two of his current three year refection posts. I chose the first and third because I would like to see how much he has grown as an educator in his total three years of teaching.
Here is some of the advice he offers from his first year experience.
What I Learned This Year 08'-09' post
  • give audience driven instruction
  • lessons planned are always different from the lesson taught
  • learn from mistakes while smiling
  • don't get upset when all your expectations are not met
  • peer communication/collaboration is important
  • LISTEN TO THE STUDENTS - be interested

What I Learned This Year 10'-11' post
  • Don't allow naysayers to steer you from optimism/excitement
  • Don't be afraid to be an outsider - if your focus is on the students
  • Don't touch the keyboard-let them learn for themselves some
  • Don't get comfortable
Wow, what a great example for us as future teachers. It is so easy to become focused on all of the wonderful accomplishments we plan to make when they finally let us loose in our own classroom. But the sad reality is that many of us will struggle to the point of giving up because of a lack of realistic expectations. Seeing and hearing from real beginners like Mr. McClung is so important to understanding what life is like for teachers. This has been a big issue for me this week. In one of my classes we were discussing some of the realities of the classroom and I mentioned that so many teachers I speak to today sound so unhappy in their profession and instead of me having the chance to ask them they ask me "Why would you do this when you can do anything else??". Everyone starts out full of excitement and  hopes to make some grand difference in every child they touch but as they gain more experience their fires are extinguished by standardized test score pressures and limited resources.
Keeping up with optimistic people like McClung and re-evaluating from time to time our goals and possibilites with the aid of a playlist that was suggested by Carly Pugh will help to make a difference in the long term. I like what McClung said as a year 1 teacher, STAY POSITIVE! I will try and surround myself with inspiring stories and do my best to stay positive hopfully without being a nuisance to my peers. Like he said in his year 3 post, don't be afraid to be an outsider but you also need friends that you can collaborate and encourage eachother to offer the best for the students.
I know I am not prepared for the realities of being a teacher at this moment. I plan to continue talking with teachers who still have a passion for their job and seek guidance from any that will offer it to me. I don't want to enter this profession with rose colored glasses on and loose touch with why I am taking this education journey I'm currently on. I plan to be flexible, always willing to learn, and positive that I can and will succeed as an educator knowing it is NOT going to be easy.


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  2. Hello Erica,

    Great post. You did a wonderful job of summarizing both posts that you chose and then in applying them to your own expectations as a teacher.