"What I Have Learned This Year" by Mr. McClung.( Click on the box below to find his blog.)
Mr. McClung, entered his first year of teaching with specific ideas in his head about how he wanted things to be done in his classroom. However, he quickly found out that nothing ever goes as "planned". He took those first year of experiences and came up with some great advice for the rest of us "newbies".
I am sure when I graduate, I will be just as anxious has he was on his very first day as a school teacher. I anticipate that I will face many hurdles while trying to settle in, but hopefully, I will be prepared to do my very best when those unexpected moments occur.
Teaching is a lot like acting. We get up there and put on a "show" for students to watch and learn from and expect them to remember everything that went on. I have found that there are teachers who, for the sake of time, just move on and do not check to see if their students really understand the material. I find this to be horrible! It is very sad to watch a student who, just doesn't get it, become frustrated and give up. Only to have their teacher fuss and complain because the student didn't understand the material that was put in front of them. If only the teacher would have checked to be sure that everyone was on the same page, then the student probably would have performed better on his/her test.
Another "tid bit" that I found important is to be flexible. While doing my field experience I have learned that it is always good to have a "plan B" for those moments that don't go according to plan.
Communication is important as well. I have to tell myself often, don't get caught up in all that chatter back and forth with the teachers. Have you ever been in the teacher's work room (They called it the teacher's lounge when I was young, back in the dinosaur ages)? There is often more dirty laundry in there then is at my house where I have 7 kids and husband. So, that is not where I really want to be, especially when the "Man or Lady" ( The Principal) of the building walks in.
Listening to students: I will most certainly listen to my students! It is important to me that every student be heard ( unless they are whining, then I will get some cheese to go with their whine,just kidding). Seriously, all children need to feel like they are being listened too, it makes them feel important.
And lets not forget about technology! Technology is important for our youngsters. They need to be able to use a computer proficiently. About 12 years ago, when my middle school-er was about two years old, I bought my very first computer. I remember thinking to myself, Wow! this is amazing! I loved trying to figure out how it all worked. It was then, that I realized how important computers were. I Then began buying my daughter educational games for the computer. She figured out how the mouse worked and mastered the tasks necessary to navigate herself around with out any help from me. And by the time she was in kindergarten she was prepared for her new world of education and learning. There is no doubt in my mind that technology is a must in every class room.
Never stop learning was, In my opinion the best piece of advice. I think a really good teacher is one who is always learning. Just because I graduate does not mean that I am done learning. I want to keep up with all of the latest teaching techniques , attend workshops and enroll in additional courses that would help me to be a better teacher for my students.
All of these tips from Mr. McClung are awesome! They may seem like common sense, but seeing them in print makes me really think about how I want to be with my students. I am looking forward to using this advice when I graduate.