Thursday, March 29, 2012
Blog Post 9
What I've Learned This Year (2008-09) posted by Joe McClung nailed what I have done right and wrong as a new teacher. Concentrating on that perfect lesson, and forgetting about the students, is an easy trap to fall into as a new teacher, seasoned teacher, or substitute. We want to "look" good for our peers, and frankly to get and keep a teaching position. When you focus in on your personal professional goals, you lose sight of the people you are there to teach. I particularly loved what he said, "Our job as teachers is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again." I believe when we fail, dust ourselves off, and move on; we set an example, they will follow.
I got hooked and continued reading What I Learned This Year (2009-10). This year, McClung moved from teaching a subject he was comfortable with (science) to teaching social studies. By his own admission, he found himself just making up busy work, because he felt he lacked the knowledge and skill set to teach this subject. As time went on, he discovered he was also spending too much time on topics he liked at the expense of ones the students needed. My favorite line here, "...and I know that I cannot be satisfied with standing still and running the risk of becoming professional stagnant..." This reminds me of one of my favorite examples. Tiger Woods gained a lot of fame golfing in a certain way. Before he got too cocky (unfortunately that came later in his personal life), he changed his technique, even losing ground before leapfrogging back into first place. We have to keep moving forward. Standing still is sliding backwards.
In McClung's next post What I learned This Year (2010-11), he reiterated much of what he said before, but added this telling comment, " I feel like the teaching landscape is full of individuals that once had a fire and excitement for the profession but somewhere along the way they joined the darkside." As a sub, I can tell you, the way the students walk into the class, I know how they feel about their regular teacher. Do not expect today's students to be fooled for long, if at all. They know if you care, or you are just there to earn pay.
Continue McClung's foray into teaching by checking out his blog. This video he posted is hysterical...and true. I can attest to that!