What I've Learned this Year (2008-2009)
This post is about Mr. McClung's first year of teaching and what he has learned. Going in to teaching he did not know everything to expect but throughout his first year he learned a lot. The first thing he discusses is the importance of reading the crowd. As teachers we do not need to be consumed with our teaching as being about us or those above us. We need to stay focused on making lessons about the students and helping them learn because that is the main goal. I completely agree with this idea. Teachers tend to get wrapped up in required material and impressing those people above them rather than making their lessons in regards to the true audience, the students. Some other points he brings up are the need to be flexible as well as reasonable. Lessons and activities aren't always going to go as perfectly planned, but that doesn't mean they are not successful. It is all about working to fix the mistakes and always improving. We also must be reasonable in our expectations of students. Sometimes we tend to set the bar too high and it can be discouraging for a student if they fall short. We must be an encouragement for our students in helping them to succeed.
What I Learned This Year (2010-2011)
This post is about his third year teaching. He starts off by saying that we need to stay focused on pleasing the students rather than the adults. The kids are the reason we became teachers in the first place and we need to remember that. This is an idea than he discusses in his first post as well. The repeat of this shows the importance of this and how it is something we need to make sure to focus on. Just as others we tend to get caught up in the idea of making everyone else happy when the students happiness should be where we center our attention. Excitement for his job and new ideas and resources is something that is a part of Joe's personality. He is optimistic and tries to make the most of every new opportunity. This year he realized that there are always going to be those who have lost their passion and excitement for their job, but that is not something you should let effect you. Optimism is something that is contiguous and I feel that this is something kids notice. They are going to be a lot more interested and excited about the lesson and classwork if the teacher is as well.
Both posts were great and I really enjoyed reading about what he learned his first year as well as his third. His blog is one that would be a very helpful addition to my PLN.