On Joe McClung's Blog Posts
"At The Teacher's Desk". I read Volumes one and four of Mr. McClung's reflective blog posts that he writes at the end of every school year he teaches. In Volume One, written after the 2008-2009 school year, McClung talks about the lessons he's learned from his class his and experience in his year of teaching. Some of the tips he has are as follows:
1) Don't focus on evaluations to be made by your superiors more than your class.
2) Spend just as much time checking for student comprehension as you do focusing on the delivery of content.
3) "No lesson is perfect. The lesson you teach and the one you plan are always different."
4) Don't beat yourself up over your mistakes or lessons/activities that didn't go well
5) "Communication is the best medicine." Listen to your students and constantly treat your teaching career like the learning experience it is.
6) Don't have unrealistic expectations for your students.
7) Don't be afraid of technology.
As I was reading this, it occurred to me that this is extremely good advice for first year teachers, and while most of us know these are very good advice, some of us will make the very same mistakes. The first few years of teaching never honestly reflect your teaching style or methods, because you're just getting started. It is terrifying to enter a new chapter of your life by finally becoming a professional after countless years of training. I both look forward to and dread this day. But it comforts me that most students pursuing the same career feel similarly.
In Volume Four, Mr. McClung has three main tips after the 2011-2012 school year:
1) Don't focus on what your peers think about your teaching.
2) Don't get lazy in your teachers, or your lessons will "start to suck"
3) Don't let your students resent school- make your class interesting and interactive.
I discovered after reading this that not only do teachers constantly learn, but they grow. Mr. McClung's lessons have changed immensely. These are all good pieces of advice. I think that writing a reflective blog like this is a healthy way to document the things you've learned from experience and fish for feedback and potential professional advice from peers. While worrying what your peers think is not a good thing to constantly dwell over, getting advice from them is never a bad idea. Whether you take that advice should be decided depending on what it is, however.