Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blog Post #9

teacher and student

In Mr. McClung's What I Learned This Year- Volume 4 he talks about what he learned during his fourth year as a teacher. He begins by saying that he didn't learn as much this year as he had learned in his three previous years of teaching. The first thing he discusses is how, for the first time, he puts emphasis on how his peers view his teaching methods. He says he "committed a very junior high like sin and have worried myself with whether or not my peers approve of the way I handle business". He talks about how he focused too much energy on whether or not his peers approved of the way he was teaching his students. He concludes this section by saying that he quickly realized that he was focusing on the wrong opinions; if his students were having fun and learning the material, they were the ones who mattered.

I think that Mr. McClung makes a great point here. Too often we get swept up in the opinions of the wrong people. Most often, it is those who we are around the most. As a future educator, I think it is very important to always put your students first. Through out this class we have seen teacher after teacher who put their focus on the students. They are the teachers who excel in educating. Mr. McClung says that concerning himself with one question "are the kids having fun?" has done wonders for him. This is a lesson we should all carry with us.

In his second paragraph he talks about challenging yourself. He says how he has been teaching the same class at the same school for three years. He talks about how he started to become lazy, relying on old lesson plans and he felt his "creativity starting to vanish". He goes on to say that he accepted a new position teaching pre AP-civics and American Government which is good because it allows him to make a change. His point is not that being offered a change (like teaching a different subject) should be what fuels our creativity but that we should always be focused on creating an interesting learning environment. He says that he feels he could become content with his career and start to "coast"; or he says he can snap out of it and challenge himself to become a better teacher. I can imagine that at some point in our careers we will all be faced with this unspoken choice and I plan to chose the latter.

In life, as well as our chosen professions, people are always faced with decisions. Deciding to continue to challenge yourself as an educator, as well as a person, makes your life more interesting. We chose to make our lives better or decide to "coast" and be content with as far as we have gotten (and go no further). I personally feel those who chose the challenge have a much more interesting life.

The other post I chose to read was from Mr. McClung's first year as a teacher. This post can be seen here. I chose this post because I was curious to see what the difference was between his first year and fourth year as a teacher. I found this post to be very interesting. He covers several things he learned during his first year; much more than in his fourth. He talks about what he learned in relation to being a teacher: Be flexible, be reasonable, don't be afraid of technology, listen to your students, and never stop learning. From these, the ones that stuck out were: listen to your students and never stop learning.

I think that it is very easy to become lazy at work. We write a few lesson plans and then decide we can lean on those for a while, or maybe we write a few versions of a test and decide that is all we need to do. It is important to constantly remind ourselves to be creative and to keep learning fun. If we think back to our own elementary teachers, it's easy to remember our favorites. Usually, those are the ones who made it fun; they are the ones who kept the students interested by challenging themselves as well as the students (us). I believe this
kids holding sign thank you teacher
also applies to "never stop learning". For most people, when we reach the end of something big, like completing our college degree, we stop learning. It is almost like we have decided that we have reached the end and there is no longer a need to know anything else. However, this is not the case. There are always new things to learn and by being an explorer, we influence our students to do the same.


  1. Kathryn, you wrote your blog post very eloquently. I did not find any spelling or grammatical errors. I noticed we agreed on a lot of the same points in Mr. McClung's posts. You did a great job summarizing his thoughts, as well as organizing your own. Good job.

  2. You could have developed Mr. McClung's first reflection a lot more. You just skimmed the surface of it.


  3. Kathryn, your blog post was very well organized and analyzed, as you summarized McClung’s ideas and separately reflected on them. I would suggest you try to reduce the number of times you start a sentence with “He says” or a different verb. It is redundant and eventually becomes awkward. This can be solved by writing compound sentences. Also, I am left wondering who “the wrong people” are besides “those who are around the most”. You need to be more specific; are you referencing your personal or professional life? Your post is very well edited; the only obvious typo is “through out” which should be one word, “throughout”. Kudos from the other Reynolds.