This week we were to read two of Mr. Joe McClung's "What I Learned This Year" blogs.
I really appreciated Mr. McClung’s blog about his first year of teaching (2008-2009). He admits to making mistakes, such as focusing more on the delivery of his lesson than student comprehension. He says he tried to stay positive when lessons or activities didn’t go as planned and knew at times the way his lesson was taught would be different from the way he wrote it. He learned the importance of communicating with fellow teachers and students and to listen to his students and build relationships with them. He encourages us to “jump in head first” when it comes to technology and to never stop learning. I told him his article was very insightful from a student’s point of view.
Fast forward three years and Mr. McClung reviews his experience teaching in the 2010-2011 school year, coaching and becoming the computer applications teacher. He tells us that he has learned to keep students at the center of his decision making process and to be sure he don’t allow his professional or personal life interfere with his performance for his students. One thing he mentioned that I had not thought about was allowing the attitudes of colleagues to interfere with our outlook about new ideas and new ways to teach. We must keep an open mind for the sake of our students, even if it makes us an outsider. A seriously important point he made, that we are learning in EDM310 indirectly, is to “never touch the keyboard.” It is more beneficial to allow your students to put their hands on what they’re learning and let them struggle in the beginning because they will figure it out on their own and “excel in the end game.” Lastly, he instructs us not to become comfortable teaching, but to be “movers and shakers” in the effort to change education and exceed the demands of the traditional teaching format.