Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blog Post Assignment #9

Joe McClung's Blog

The first post I have read is the 'What I have Learned' (2008-2009). Mr. McClung makes very good suggestions for all teachers when they first get out there. He says to "just be flexible when you make a lesson plan, and allow for any change...because that is inevitable".  I completely agree after observing for a third grade class at the elementary school I chose for my EDF 315 class. The teacher I am observing always says "nothing is a sure fire plan when you actually teach what you have written down on your planner, because every time there is always a small change of plan or something else you have to back to several times". Another good point he makes is always stay positive no matter what, and always have a smile on your face when you mess up. The best thing he points out is to never set your expectations too high or else they will only be set up for failure. Essentially, these kids can only handle so much at a time: set simple goals for them to accomplish. If they fail our job is to keep them encouraged and make sure they keep trying until they get it right. Mr. McClung also tells us to keep our students trusting in us and make sure they know we care about them. The more they trust us and are willing to open up, the better they will flourish and succeed amazingly in their academics. Then there is is the new favorite subject for new teachers: TECHNOLOGY! I like the fact he says to not be afraid of the Mac, iPad, iPhone, or what have you. Embrace it! Learn it! Love it! Because guess what? That is the new way of teaching our students and helping them learn more than plain old textbook reading...and it is a lot more interesting. In this day and age, we cannot hold back and just stay in one way. We must have our options for methods in teaching wide open and always be ready and willing to try something new. I love this post and plan on following Mr. McClung on Twitter and keeping up to date with his tips and what other ideas he has.

The other post I chose to post about was What I Learned This Year (2010-2011), considering all the changes he has made in his teaching and time does tell all. Mr. McClung has now been at the school in Fayetteville, Arkansas for more than a year and the students look happy as can be...mainly because it the last day of school. But also because he has made the classroom about them and their thoughts. I believe he is very correct in making the students our bosses, since school is about them and letting them take some lead in what we are teaching them. As many people have said "who is a better teacher for you than yourself?"...and for many students this is true. They like to help themselves along with having teacher help. Never let the adults you work with run how you teach or affect you in any way that could hinder your classroom ways. Speaking of other teachers, he also mentions that some people may not be excited about new ideas or do not get as ecstatic as you do about new teaching techniques or the little things you love. But do not let this get in your way of having fun with it and being part of the thinking and learning and developing process. Be happy with whatever kind of teacher you become, and just ignore what goes on behind your back. As Mr. McClung put in his blog: "I sit with my students, I eat lunch with them, I play music too loud, and enjoy having a connection with my students as well". Do not just having a strict teaching relationship with your class, get to know the students and what kind of things they like and how they learn best: talk to them about what they want to talk about. One of the big things I thought was pretty important was to never get comfortable where you are in your teaching career; always mix things up, whether it be in your life outside of school or in the classroom. As soon to be teacher, I think Mr. Joe McClung is a very inspirational teacher and especially blogger...his advice can actually help true new teachers and give them a chance to relax. After all, we have to make this career fun for the kids right? 


  1. Well done. Thoughtful. Make sure Mr. McClung is in your PLN. He will be more than glad to help!

  2. Hi Katie,
    I agree with you that Mr. McClung's posts are full of great tips for new teachers. He really helps remind us that our students should be our main focus, and that all the other "stuff" that comes along with the job should be secondary. I thought your post was really well written.