Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blog Assignment 9

Mr. Joe McClung
Joe McClung

At the end of each school year Mr. McClung writes a blog post reflecting on his adventures, accomplishments, and learnings. Listed below are the posts. This post is part of a series of posts at the blog At The Teacher's Desk.

May 27, 2009 What I've Learned This Year (2008-09)
June 15, 2010 What I Learned This Year (2009-10)
June 23, 2011 What I Learned This Year (2010-11)
June 13, 2012 What I Learned This Year - Volume 4 (2011-12)

The two posts that I chose to read, summarize, and comment about are the last two (2010-11 and 2011-12).

June 23, 2011 What I Learned This Year (2010-11)

This year was a year of a lot of firsts for Mr. McClung. It was his first year to teach at the same school for more than one year, first experience as a head coach, first experience coaching cross country, and first experience as a computer applications teacher.
Know Who Your Boss Is
I can definitely relate to what Mr. McClung is saying here. He is saying that although we may want to please people, we have to make the students our first priority and make sure we are focused on them. I am working part-time at a job where I have been for almost three years while going to school full-time. Although, sometimes it can be overwhelming, I love my job and am blessed to have it. Many times I am asked to do several favors for several people. Like Mr. McClung, I am a "people pleaser", so I do my best to help my coworkers out. Sometimes I end up in a situation where I am so wrapped up in completing work for others that my priorities and job duties get pushed out of the way. I have to take a step back and realize that my job duties are my primary focus and come before any "people pleasing" assignments. This is parallel in the teaching field. Students are who we are there for and need to be our first priority.
Don't Expect Others to be as Excited About Change as You Are
In this section, Mr. McClung states, "moral of this lesson is that you cannot allow others to stifle your own excitement and joy that you experience in teaching or any other facet of life for that matter." Well, all I can say is I really needed to read this. Again, my situation is a little different, but the lesson still applies. Lately, my twin brother who also attends South and is studying Engineering has been "stifling my excitement and joy" for teaching. He refers to teachers as having easy and effortless jobs and has made me feel worthless. I know he has not done this intentionally and only out of harmless teasing, but it has resulted in me losing my excitement for teaching. Mr. McClung has helped me understand that I cannot let what other people do or say, whether it is other teachers in a professional development session or my own brother, influence me to stray away from what I love and enjoy.
Don't be Afraid to be an Outsider
This lesson is simple and straight to the point. Do not be afraid to be yourself. Do not let what other people think of you change you. Be yourself and be proud of who you are. That is a life lesson right there.
Don't Touch The Keyboard
Here, Mr. McClung is saying that if you touch the keyboard or take over the task students or employees are trying to learn to do, then they will never learn how to do it by themselves and you will end up doing it for them. I am really glad I am reading this right now, because I am struggling with the same thing. Currently, I am training (and have been for a while) a student who is taking my position at work since I have been given new job duties. I am quite a bit of a perfectionist and many people would say I am OCD. The fact is that I like things to be done timely, and I like them to be done right. I have very high expectations, and when people don't meet them I tend to take control and do it for them. This is exactly what has been happening at work. I need to stop touching the keyboard and allow the student to make mistakes and learn from them. Even though I cannot stand for things to be wrong, I can no longer do her work for her. I have to set aside my preferences and let her learn.
Don't Get Comfortable
This lesson is simple to understand, but difficult to do. As Mr. McClung wrote, teaching can become an easy job to get comfortable in. As a teacher, I will have to resist that temptation. I will have to strive to be better every day, and I will have to continue to challenge myself even if it is in a way I never dreamed of doing it. I do not want to ever become complacent or stagnant in my position. When I become a teacher, I want to always be improving and moving forward. I want to always keep my passion for children, and I want to motivate them to be the best student they can be and motivate myself to be the best teacher I can be.

June 13, 2012 What I Learned This Year - Volume 4 (2011-12)

This year only two underlining themes really stuck out to Mr. McClung.
You Gotta Dance With Who You Brought to the Dance
For this theme, Mr. McClung writes about how this year he has been overly concerned with what his peers think about him and his teaching methods. He has realized that he has to concentrate on what has gotten him this far- making sure his kids are having fun and enjoying his class. I could say I am a person who cares about what other people think. I usually do not change myself to fit what I think they want, but I still care. When I begin teaching, I am sure I will come across this point and need to remember this lesson about staying true to who I am.
Challenge Yourself
Mr. McClung began noticing this year that he was becoming a bit comfortable in his teaching. He was using old lesson plans and becoming lazy. His creativity was shriveling up and his class was suffering. This next year he will be teaching a different subject, and he is excited for this change. He knows it is important for teachers to always challenge themselves so that the students will benefit from the class. I will definitely take some lessons to remember away from this. Honestly, they could have not come at a better time. It is time for me to get my self together and get going!


  1. Excellent. A blog of the week (tie) award!

  2. Hi Alison!

    Wow, you did such an amazing job on this blog post! Kudos to you for how detailed you were. I too have a serious problem with being a "people pleaser." I just have to eventually tell myself no matter what I do not everyone will be happy with everything, and I have to do what I know is the best thing.

    I'm so glad Mr. McClung's post helped you get your joy for teaching back. Things we hear from the people we love the most can definitely be the most influential.

    I think not getting too comfortable teaching is something every teacher will struggle with at times. I also want to constantly challenge myself and my students to try to prevent that from happening

    The only error I found was:
    "Many times I'm asked to do several favors for several people Like Mr. McClung,...."
    --should be like instead of Like

    The error was very minor, I had a small error similar to that this week too! You really did do such a great job! Way to set the bar high for others!


  3. Hi Alison,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. You did a fantastic job. It was interesting to see how some of the lessons Mr. McClung learned were relevant to your current life. I think that many people who want to become teachers are "people pleasers"; we just have that natural desire to help others. I often find myself putting my needs last in order to help someone else succeed in their task.
    One thing I wanted to point out specifically was when you said, "When I become a teacher, I want to always be improving and moving forward. I want to always keep my passion for children, and I want to motivate them to be the best student they can be and motivate myself to be the best teacher I can be." Think about that the next time your brother is teasing you about being a teacher. You are going to be molding the children of the future and in that quote, you sound like someone I would want teaching my children.
    I noticed the same error as Sara (comment above) but I thought a period was missing. Other than that, there are no errors.
    Great job!

  4. Hi Alison,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. You did a great job. Mr. McClung had a lot of good advice. When we become teachers, the children should always be our number one priority. I also found that small minor mistake, other than that you did an awesome job. Keep up the good work.