Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Blog Assignment #9
For this assignment I read the blog of Mr. McClung entitled "What I've Learned This Year." This blog records the lessons he has learned after completing his first year of teaching. After just a year, Mr. McClung was transformed forever and in a way that only classroom experience can. He discovered the importance of seeing the "person" in the classroom. A "person" is someone who must be heard not just talked to, and must be allowed to make mistakes. For himself he learned that relationships with colleagues were important. Problems must be solved. He also learned to be flexible and not too hard on himself when things don't go as planned.
Last year I took on a different teaching role. I was a full-time aide rather than a lead teacher. Before the school year began, I made some decisions about what I wanted to learn. In looking over an old student file, I came across some evaluation sheets by professors that had assessed me during my student-teaching experience. (I need to add that these evaluations took place 18 years before.) I noticed that the opinions consistently agreed that I could do better in a particular area: "understanding pupils as people and as learners." I made up my mind to make that a goal for the year. I decided to focus on the task of seeing students as individuals. I continued the year concentrating on the dynamics and complexities of personal interactions. Needless to say I relaxed, enjoyed the year, and I allowed the students to teach me some lessons.
The fact that Mr. McClung learned to value his relationships early in his teaching career is a wonderful first-year achievement. A good teacher never stops being a student. After all the most important factor of our teaching is the relationships we influence along the way. When we make a connection with the people we teach, it is then that we can make real changes in learning outcomes.