Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blog Post # 9

In What I've learned this yearMr. McClung reflects back on his first year as an Elementary School teacher. He explauins that, like many other young, new teachers,  he did not know what to expect when he entered the classroom. Throughout his first year, Mr. McClung matured as a person and a teacher and learned many valuable lessons that he felt he should share with other incoming and current teachers. He highlights seven very important lessons: 
Confused Man reading a ManualMake lessons student centered
Be Flexible
Be Reasonable   
Don't be afraid of Technology
Listen to your students
Never stop learning

In How to Read the Crowd, Mr. McClung discusses a dilemma that teachers as well as other professionals face when entering into a new work environment. The concern is not with the students, but how you as a teacher are being assessed by your superiors. Because of this mindset, lessons become tailored to your own perceived goals and not those of your audience. In a teachers case, he/she loses touch with their students and does not make lessons student centered. The focus is on delivery and not on students' comprehension of the material. As a teacher,your goal should be to first and foremost leave an impression on your students and secondly your superiors. It is important to remember that you are there for the STUDENTS! 

"No lesson is ever perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different"  This is a difficult statement for me to digest. Yes, I know that it is true, but I am a very organized and planned person. As a teacher, I must learn to be flexible and accept that things will not always go as I have planned or expected. Many times lessons will last longer than anticipated, because students may not understand and extra time is necessary. Concerning flexibility, teachers must also consider students' workloads not only in their class but in others as well. As a teacher, I will definitely have to give up some control and allow for change.

Mother cramming books into her son's headI really like that Mr. McClung points out the dangers in setting exceedingly high expectations for students. Not only are teachers disappointed when they fail to accomplish and excel in certain areas, but students become disappointed in themselves. This may cause students to feel that they should give up and become uninterested in their work. As Mr. McCLung says, it is okay to have expectations for students, but it is more important to realize that like all, they are not perfect. We must continue to support and encourage students. When they fail, they need even more attention and encouragement, not more frustration for their failure.  Most are critical enough on themselves. 

I feel that his last three points work hand-in-hand. As EDM310 has taught me, technology is an important tool in the learning process. Teachers must continue to learn new skills whether they deal with technology or not. Technology seems to be an emerging technique used by teachers to stay connected to the world of education and their students. If we are to listen to our students, as educators we must understand that they communicate through technology. Most are even more comfortable chatting on facebook, twitter, and through text messages than speaking face-to-face. I am not suggesting we add our students on these social networks or text them, but realize that technology is a big part of their lives. As educators we are afforded the opportunity to use podcasts, educational videos,  and blogs to communicate with our students. As a future English teacher, I must realize that my students may prefer to read assigned novels from their iPad or Kindle. I think as teachers we must learn to use these technologies to our advantage, so we can teach our students to use them effectively. 


  1. I think your thoughts on being flexible are really true for most upcoming teachers. It really is hard to imagine how our lessons will go, and surely they will not all go according to plan.

    I really like your comments on student expectations. It is very important to know that all students are different. I really like that you realize that this can lead to students not wanting to do anything at all.

    Good post Nicole!

    Stephen Akins

  2. Hey Nicole,
    I have to agree with you about your flexible comment. When I become a teacher being flexible is something I will have to learn too. I want things done a certain way and it might be hard to break from that.
    I like your comment about technology in your classroom. That's a good idea to have your students read their books on an iPad or Kindle because that would probably be more appealing to them.
    Great post!
    Jessica Battles