Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blog Post #9

What I Learned This Year.
black and white photograph of a hand with the words: relax, stay positive, have fun and be happy written on the palm.
What I learned this year by Joe McClung is a reflection on his first year of teaching. I am so glad Mr. McClung wrote this post to share his experiences and help new teachers learn from his mistakes before we start our first year of teaching. Hopefully there are some lessons here we don't have to learn through experience.
The first piece of advice Mr. McClung gives is
"In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction."
This is a great thing to keep in mind. If we really get to know our students we can form our lessons around their learning styles. By allowing our students to shape our lessons we are ensuring that the focus stays on their learning and not just on our ideas about how lessons should be put together. I think this goes hand in hand with his advice to "be flexible" and "listen to your students."
Another suggestion Mr. McClung makes is to be come a good communicator.
"...communication is one of the hardest skills to develop, so practice all you can and build those strong relationships with teachers and students."
This is something I hope I can remember to work hard at. Communicating is important, not only to create a sense of community with your fellow teachers and with your students, but also to attain the goal of continuous learning. You must be a strong communicator to build and maintain a meaningful personal learning network and attain the goal Mr. McClung sets out to "never stop learning". This idea is especially important now as technology is changing so rapidly.
Mr. McClung warns us not to be afraid of technology.
"Technology is our friend and is essential to living in our microwave society of today."
Embracing technology alone can help us to achieve the other goals set out by Mr. McClung. It can aid us in learning new methods of teaching to help those students who we are not reaching with our lessons, and it can help us feel connected to our co-workers and educators all over the world.
My favorite piece of advice in Mr. McClung's post was to be flexible.
"When things go wrong, simply work with it and try to better the situation.....and make sure you do it with a smile on your face!"
Attitude is everything. Just like Randy Pausch said, we have to make the decision to be an Eeyore or a Tigger. As teachers we have to be able to bring a positive attitude to our classes every day and the only way we can do this is to accept that sometimes things don't go according to plan and sometimes that's okay.


  1. Megan,
    Very good post. Thank you for including points, quotes and your own opinions!

  2. I also really liked what Mr. McClung said about working with your situation and doing it with a smile on your face. Nothing is going to go perfectly-especially in a classroom where children are involved. I also like how you compared it to making the decision to be an Eeyore or Tigger. This was a very good post.

  3. I also appreciated Mr. McClung's post. I agree that we as future educators should take his advice so we will not make these mistakes. It's always better to follow advice than to find out things through your own mistakes. Great post!