Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What I've Learned This Year


When I arrived in Noel, Missouri last fall I was entering my first year of being a teacher. Being young and inexperienced, I did not fully know what to expect from being an elementary school teacher. Since last August I have grown and matured as a person and a teacher, and in the process I have learned a TON. So, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share with you what it is that I have learned in my first year of teaching.

How to Read the Crowd
Throughout my college education and teaching internship, I developed a mindset that it was all about me the teacher. Meaning that I was so worried about how I was being assessed by my superiors, that I lost touch with my audience when I delivered a lesson. A common theme that I have seen in a lot of teachers is the fact that they do not make their lessons student centered. They become so concerned with the delivery of the content that they are missing the most important aspect of teaching, and that is checking for student comprehension.

I fell like that this year I have developed immensely in regards to this aspect of teaching. In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction.

Be Flexible
I have a way I want things done.....sound familiar? While we as instructors like to plan "perfect" lessons, we have to remember that we are performing in front of a crowd the struggles remembering what they brought for lunch that day.
NO LESSON IS EVER PERFECT. THE LESSON YOU TEACH AND THE ONE YOU PLAN ARE ALWAYS DIFFERENT.
At the beginning of the school year I felt like I was trying to control things way too much, and I would beat myself up over lessons and activities that did not go well. I had to get over this. While I always plan to have that elusive perfect lesson, I don't let it get to me and I do not kill myself over my mistakes any more. When things go wrong, simply work with it and try to better the situation.....and make sure you do it with a smile on your face!

Communicate
Communication is the best medicine....I know no one has ever experienced workplace drama, but just in case you know someone who knows a friend that does.....they need to talk it out. Communicating is the best way to resolve any issue in the workplace.

In addition, communication is the pathway to building that much desired rapport with fellow teachers. I know that sounds obvious, but communication is one of the hardest skills to develop, so practice all you can and build those strong relationships with teachers and students.

Be Reasonable
As teachers we hold very high expectations for our students....sometimes they live up to those expectations, and sometimes they don't. Often we build our expectations too high for students, and become upset when they do not meet the expectation.
DON'T.
Teachers can sometimes really loose touch and forget that we are dealing with children. They are not perfect and neither are we. While its fine to have lofty goals for our students, we set our students up for disappointment when a goal is not met and we scold them for not coming through. Our job as teachers is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again.

Don't be Afraid of Technology
Grown adults everywhere are afraid of computers like it's a bad horror film and computers are trying to take over the world. Technology is our friend and is essential to living in our microwave society of today. We should not become overwhelmed by technology and simply give up before we start. We cannot expect to master computer skills the first time we attempt them, so jump in head first....the water feels fine :)

Listen to Your Students
You may be the only person that does. Below is an example of a answer that one of my students listed on their end of the year survey that really spoke to me:
I know my teacher cares about me as a person when he.
- Listens to what I say
While this may seem like a standard issue answer to such a question, it spoke volumes to me. I truly believe that teachers do not know enough about the students they are teaching. In order to build the respect that we all seek in a student teacher relationship, it is important to take interest their the lives of our students. It's that important.

Lastly....Never Stop Learning
It's never too late to change your way of thinking, learning, or style. We do everything short of beg students to learn on a daily basis, but sadly some of us refuse to learn and grow as professional educators. We work in a learning environment, so why not soak up as much as you can? We owe it to our students.

In closing I would like to thank everyone that has made my first year of teaching something truly magical. Teachers, parents, bloggers, and of course students....thank you to everyone.

Mr. McClung

466 comments:

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Alexandra Maniaci said...

Hi,
My name is Alexandra Maniaci and I’m reading your blog as an assignment for Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I really liked what you had to say about the importance of teachers learning these lessons. I wish all teachers would learn this because it would make them so much better at what they do. I hope I can follow all this advice once I graduate so I can be the best teacher possible for my students. You can check out my blog at http://maniacialexandraedm310.blogspot.com and my twitter name is @alexmaniaci. Thank you for such an insightful post!

Chris Clevenger said...

Mr. McClung-
My name is Chris Clevenger. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. Your post was very enjoyable to read, I found it very encouraging. I agree with you on the fact that teachers should continue to be learners. This is something that is becoming really important to me as I have progressed through the class I am taking now . Thank you again for posting this encouraging message. You may reach me at my personal blog : http://clevengerchristopheredm310.blogspot.com/

Jenna Baxter said...

Hey Mr. McClung. My name is Jenna and I am reading this post as a requirement for EDM310, taught by Dr. Strange. I will have a summary of your blog, along with my opinions posted here. You can also find me on Twitter @jennabaxter1988.

First of all let me thank you for creating such a wonderful blog post. This blog post will be so useful for new teachers entering the field, as well as current teachers. I will definitely be keeping what you said in mind as I get ready to enter into teaching. My favorite quote from your blog is " Our job as teachers is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again." This truly signifies what all teachers should strive for. It is our job to help students learn from their mistakes and make sure they never give up. I look forward to following your future blog posts and good luck in your future teaching!

woodie holloway said...

Mr. McClung,
I appreciate your comments on what you learned in your first year of teaching. Because of your experiences, it will help you go a long way. I'm a student in Dr. Stranges EDM 310 class and this was a required assignment. I feel like you, it all begins and ends with the students. If it doesn't, something is wrong. Again, i appreciate your comments and i know because of your initial setbacks, it will help you in the long term. I will comment on my blog(HollowayWoodieedm310.blogspot.com), and would like you input. You may also email me at woodieholloway@gmail.com. I think its safe to say, you my friend, are well on your way.

Annie Dubroc said...

Hi Mr. McClung,

I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I was assigned to read your blog post. You can read what I think about your post in my blogger at
dubrocannieed310.blogspot.com and you can contact me on twitter too @anniedubroc.

I think this is by far the best blog post I have read and it is so helpful. You seem like you were a great teacher and you will end up becoming an excellent teacher over your many years to come. I think this a great piece for upcoming teachers to read because it gives you an insight on what to except. I hope that your teaching career continues to become better with time.

Thank you for sharing,
Annie

Kelsey Robinson said...

Hi, my name is Kelsey Robinson and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I am not yet a teacher but I am very thankful to have been able to read your blog post! I know it will be very useful when I begin teaching and that is why I have bookmarked your post; I plan to return to your post and utilize the tips you have shared with us. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. This is a link to my class blog and I welcome you to visit and comment if you would like.

Kelsey Robinson

Miss Ashley said...

Hi Mr.McClung,
My name is Ashley Franklin and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I wanted to thank you for posting what you've learned in your first year of teaching. I too am young and inspiring to become an elementary teacher so reading what you've posted was very helpful.I agree that teachers loose focus on how they deliver the message as oppose to the content. Thank You so much for posting this,I do plan on bookmarking this post so that I may use it as a guide through my first year of teaching,and after my first year I plan to make a post to help other future teacher.

Thank you!

Lisi Emmett said...

Mr. McClung,
I read this post as part of my EDM310 assignment. Thank you for sharing what you learned your first year teaching. Your blog is encouraging as well as helpful. It is discouraging when a lesson doesn’t work out as planned, but it is comforting to know that I’m not the only one who experiences this.
Lisianna Emmett
@llemmett03

Carol Perez said...

Mr. MCClung,

My name is Carol Perez de la Vega and I am currently taking Dr. Strange's EDM310 course. Thank you for sharing this experience as a young emerging teacher,I am sure that you have so much advice for upcoming educators. The advice you gave is so helpful, my favorite is "Never Stop Learning". I feel that it is essential for educators to be lifelong learners in order to teach their students that cognitive development and growth occurs through practice, research, activity, and so much. The brain is like a muscle that should be excersised regularly.Teaching is no exception to this and your posts are a excellent way to provide advice and information to educators today,thank you.

Miranda R Tidikis said...

Mr McClung,
I am a student at in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class and as a requirement for his class I am reading your blog post. As my own graduation approaches and my first year of teaching begins I feel that what you have shared in you post will help me have an open mind. Teaching is not about the perfect lesson but about the students and what they learn. We should never lose focus that our job is about the students. That teaching, guiding and helping our students become the best they can is our goal. And never stop learning.
Thank you for sharing this post. It is a big help to all new and soon-to-be teachers to know that they are not alone in the way they think.

My blog tidikismirandaedm310.blogspot.com, twitter @mirandatidikis

Jessica Brown said...

Mr. McClung,
This was a great post! I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I am on my way to becoming an elementary teacher myself. I think you made some great observations that on the surface seem to be known, but when you look into them deeper there is more than what meets the eye. I blogged about your blog post on <a href="www.brownjessicaedm310.blogspot.com> my class blog</a> and you can feel free to visit anytime. I would appreciate any other advice you may have for another future educator. I would have to say I agreed with everything you said. I loved the Be Flexible, Be Responsible, and Never Stop Learning sections. The only thing I would like to add to what you have said is under your Be Responsible section, about not setting expectations too high for your students. I would also say not to set them to high for yourself. I often do that to myself and it never gets me very far. Did you have any problems with that relating to your fist time teaching? Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I think it's great when we can take a step back and learn from other's experiences.

-Jessica Brown
EDM310 Student
University of South Alabama

Megan Simmons said...

Hello Mr. McClung,
I have been assigned to read this blog post for Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I will be posting my thoughts about your post on my blog. I am also on twitter as @mms407.
Thank you for sharing such an honest reflection of what first year teaching is like I think you addressed a lot of things we wonder about as we plan to become teachers.

Lara Bishop said...

My name is Lara Bishop and I am a student in Dr. Strange Edm 310 class and your blog really inspired me to keep pushing through for all of the rewards of teaching children. You and Dr. Strange share some of the same qualities as a teacher and are striving to instill values in your students and future teachers. Please visit my blog and read my comment on yoru blog and many others @ http://bishoplaraedm310.blogspot.com/
I would love to read a new updated blog as you have more experience behind you now.

Tiffany Fey said...

Hello Mr. McClung!
My name is Tiffany Fey and I am an EDM 310 student in Dr. Strange's class at the University of South Alabama. I am majoring in Elementary Education and your blog post has really inspired me! I think your experiences that you have described are some that every teacher has to go through in the beginning of their career, and it definitely helps to get some preview of what we need to look out for. I cannot wait to be a teacher, but I have many questions and worries that I am afraid will go unanswered before I have my own classroom. I know the only way to truly learn how to be a teacher is through experience, but having teachers like you giving us pointers along the way is a really big help! Thank you for sharing your tips to being a great teacher, I will certainly be using them in my future! If you would like to view my blog you can click Here and my Twitter name is @Tinkrbeltiff. Again, thank you for sharing! I look forward to reading more of your material.
Sincerely,
Tiffany Fey

Courtney Mathis said...

My name is Courtney Mathis and I read your blog as an an assignment for Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. You can read my reaction on my class blog at mathiscourtneyedm310.blogspot.com. I enjoyed reading your post. I really hope to learn as much as I can during my first years as an educator. I appreciate you posting this, it is really inspirational for future teachers.

Shaska Crabtree said...

Mr. McClung,
My name is Shaska Crabtree and I am a student at the University of South Alabama enrolled in the Elementary Education Department. I am currently taking Dr. Strange's EDM310 class and reading your blog post was a requirement for this class, and I am happy it was.
I thought all of the topics that you wrote about was extremely helpful advise to all of us future educators, and current educators for that matter. I enjoyed reading all of the topic you wrote about, but the one I can relate to the most right now is the topic on "How to read the crowd". I focus so much sometimes on what my lesson plans look like on paper that I forget to think how would a student respond to it in the classroom. I think that topic goes hand and hand with the being flexible topic because you made the point that you never know where the lesson might go.
I thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic and I am sure I will be back to read this blog post again for some good advise. If you would like you can read a summary and some additional thought on my blog page. I hope you continue on learning new things about teaching everyday. Thank you for your time.

Casey Allen said...

Great post for sure! I am very excited about teaching and I am also nervous at the same time. Your post has let me feel a little bit more at ease about starting. I learned some great tips from your post. Im a student at USA in Mobile, Al and I was assigned to read your blog for my EDM 310 class. My instructor, Dr. Strange, highly recommened your blog and said to keep up with it throughout the rest of the semester. My name is Casey Allen and you can check out my blog for my EDM310 class at http://allencaseynedm310.blogspot.com/.
Thanks again for sharing!!
Casey Allen

AnnMerritt Taylor said...

Hey Mr. McClung,
My name is AnnMerritt and I'm a junior at the University of South Alabama, majoring in Secondary Education English/ Language Arts. Your blog was recommended to me by my EDM310 professor, Dr. Strange. After reading it, I definitely understand why!

I really loved your post and particularly identified with your comments about teachers losing focus. I can definitely see how in the future, my first year teaching, that I may get caught up and way too worried about what my supervisors are thinking. I'm sure it's a problem that many first year teacher's face. I agree that it is so important to realize that problem and correct it by aiming your lesson plans and actions towards your students and their learning.

I also really liked that you pointed out how important listening to your students is. It's true, some children have no one to go to at home and the teacher really is the only person they can talk to.

Keep up the great post! I am now following you and hope to read more great things soon. I'm sure I will. Ill be posting about what I read in this article along with my response to it on My Class Blog. Feel free to visit it anytime! Thanks, AnnMerritt

Edwards Krista's EDM 310 Class Blog said...

Hello Mr. McClung,

My name is Krista Edwards and I am a student in EDM310 and reading your post was a requirement for this course. It seems evident that many teachers do feel that each lesson should be perfect and if things do not go well, it's the end of the world. I love how you explained facts and lifelong teaching methods that would help me and other EDM310 students to overcome our greatest fears. Everything that you talked about in this post is very understandable to your audience and it makes sense. This is one of the best and most informative post that would truly help upcoming teachers to excel and to listen to their students. Thanks for posting your first year teaching experience in your blog. My blog contact is http://edwardskristaedm310.blogspot.com

Brittany said...

Hi,
I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class and have read your post as a requirement for the course. I really enjoyed your post and will defiantly keep in mind all the things you have mentioned. Your esssay has helped me prepare for teaching, I just wanted to thank you. You can find my other commets at my blog, http://pittmanbrittanyedm310.blogspot.com/

Skye LaDart said...

Hello! I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I am commented on your blog as a requirement for this course. I really enjoyed your blog, and it really gave me a new perception to teaching. I like things to go according to plan, but most of the time it goes quite the opposite. Your post really inspired me, and I would love to write a blog after my first year of teaching to share my insight. I think teachers can learn a lot from one another, and teachers can learn even more from their students. Good luck in your future teaching career and thank you for sharing your journey!

Skye LaDart said...

<a href="www.ladartskyeedm310.blogspot.com>Visit My Class Blog!</a>

Christina Henson said...

My name is Christina Henson and I am a student of Dr. Strange in EDM310. I have read your post for this course. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. It was refreshing to hear you being so open about what works and what did not work your first year.

I am a junior in the elementary k-6 program, so I am starting to dream about my own first year of class! This post gave me some very insightful, useful information. I also have a blog post and use twitter. hensonchristinaedm310.blogspot.com and @hensonchristina

Best Wishes for next year!

Rachael said...

Mr. McClung, my name is Rachael Gammill. I am a student at the University of South Alabama, in EDM 310 and part of my assignment was to read your blog. What I just read really made me feel better becoming a teacher. It was a great post, probably one of the best things Ive read. I dont think Ill ever forget this, thank you so much for giving me a chance to read it!
Rachael Gammill
gammillr@gmail.com

Whitney Hale said...

Hi Mr. McClung,

My name is Whitney Hale and I am a student in Professor Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. Professor Strange gave us a required assignment of reading your post. I would just like to say that I think all the information you have put forth is very useful and seems to be very true. I feel like this something that a lot of people face of will face when they transition from college to their career path. Thank you for taking the time to share such useful information. I'm sure this has helped someone that was going through the same thing really relate to their situation. Again, thank you so much for sharing this. Please feel free to contact me on blogger or on twitter @whitneyhale.

Whitney Hale

Lee Hughes said...

Mr. McClung,

Like many of your other comments I too am a student of Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. It is great to see a post, or user manual if you will, like this that future teachers can read. I hear horror stories from teachers that they never really felt prepared and when they were thrown infront of a class full of students they hit a lot of the problems that you mentioned. You can find more of my comments at my personal EDM 310 blog.

Great Post!!!!
http://hughesleeedm310.blogspot.com/

Alexa Howie said...

Hi Mr. McClung! My name is Alexa Howie and I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. For one of our blog assignments we were told to read this particular blog post. I'm truly glad it was assigned.

As I get closer to graduation, I find my anticipation and nervousness increases. Starting a new career, alone, could make a person nervous. When I was looking for a picture to attach to the response on my blog regarding this particular blog post, I found several pictures about the "roller coaster" for first year teachers. I don't know if you are familiar with any of the pictures, but from the name I'm sure you can guess that it was all about the ups and downs that a first year teacher must face. These images made me more nervous. Like you said, a lot of first year teachers or education majors start out thinking it's all about them. We have to be perfect. We have to deliver our perfect lesson perfectly so that our principal or fellow teachers are perfectly happy. That sentence seems like a doozy, but it's almost how I feel. Before being a teacher and even in the first few months of being a teacher, I feel like there is this giant weight on us. I think a teacher can manage this and I'm not going to scare myself away from my future, but I see first year teachers carrying a lot of weight on their shoulders.

All of these thoughts cluttered my mind and made a total image of chaos. Reading your blog post was like a breath of fresh air. It cleared out all the mass chaos going on in my mind and slowed down the pace of what I saw. The words of your experience instilled a positive outlook on my future classroom. I will never forget this blog post. In fact, I'm saving it and I'm going to read it frequently. The night before my first day of work, I am going to read this blog post and breath easy again.

Dr. Strange's class has helped me with technology. This class has made me no longer fear the latest technological tool. From you I have learned to stay positive, communicate, keep my lesson plans student centered, be reasonable and encouraging with students, listen to my students, and never stop learning.

Again, thank you so much for talking about your first year teaching experience. Your words of wisdom will help many future teachers.

As part of the blog assignment, I will have a response to this blog post on my blog.
You can also find me on Twitter.

Alexa Howie said...

I seemed to have messed up the clickable link for my blog. It's: howiealexaedm310.blogspot.com

Chelsea said...

Hi Mr. McClung. My name is Chelsea Krail and I'm a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. One of my assignments is to read and comment on your post.

I think this post is absolutely amazing. I'm glad to see that you learned these things. While I understand that everyone in the world hopes to have everything perfect, it's really not going to happen. It's impossible. And the sooner you realize that, the better off you are. You won't stress yourself more than you need to.

I also think that teachers need to really listen to their students. I've had so many classes where teachers don't want to hear what you have to say. They don't want to listen to anything unless you're answering a question or asking one. Too many of them don't allow students to explore with their words.

Thank you for this post. It is absolutely wonderful. You can contact me on Twitter at clkrail and on My Blog

Christina A Dunnam said...

I was assigned to read this blog post for Dr. Strange's EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. It so great to read about a teacher's first year experience! I am so nervous for my first year. I feel like if I heed the advice you give in this post, I will be successful in what I want to achieve as a teacher. It's to have advice from the "other side." Thank you for being open with your experience in order to help others that will be coming up behind you. I can be found at Again thank you!

Jessica said...

Mr. McClung,
Thankyou so much for writing this post. This is such an inspiration and great motivation for future teachers like myself. I'm a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class.
I love that you think that being a lifelong learner is a necessity. I hope more teachers will do this too. Dr. Strange is a perfect example of a lifelong learner. I also am so glad that you think it's important to listen to our students. So many teachers just don't care and there are so many kids out there that don't get the attention and motivation at home and we are the only other person left.
Thanks again for the post!

Lisa May said...

Hi! My name is Lisa May and reading your post was an assignment for my EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. Thank you so much for sharing your lessons learned as a new teacher! I am sure that the first year is difficult as we have such high expectations and envision things in such a way that I don't think either we as teachers or the students will ever live up to! It is an eye opener I am sure as we transition from the college classroom of our peers to an elementary classroom with wide-eyed eager students.

I loved your quote about staying positive and my two favorite lessons are to always listen to the students and always keep learning! I think that as the new teacher we will be tested by the students, parents and administration to see where our strengths and weaknesses are. It is our job to stay positive, listen, communicate and be flexible so that we can change and adapt as need be.

Is it ever possible to know everything? I think in the classrooms of old, where the teacher spoke and the children were expected to sit in silence as she read from the text book, the teacher may have thought she knew everything. In today's ever changing technological world, there is no way to know everything and we have to be eager and willing to continue learning and experimenting with our students to make sure that we stay abreast of that which is available to us! Today's education has to be a collaborative effort between teachers, students, parents and administration. It is amazing where we can learn if we are open to it and willing to listen!

I invite you to visit myblog, or email me. Comments from those that are actually using technology in the classroom is always welcome!

Jordan Sellers said...

Hello Mr. McClung,
I have read your blog as part of a requirement for my class EDM 310, here at the University of South Alabama, taught by Dr. John Strange. I haven't yet gone into my student teaching so I don't know the pressures that are put on us yet to impress the administrators, but I thought that most of what you said was a given and we should teach our students how they needed to be taught, not how our principles wanted them to learn. You were right about how to always listen to the kids, they will guide us in how we teach them. You can follow my blog at http://sellersjordanedm310.blogspot.com/

But I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to put these words down for the rest of us to learn from, so, genuinely, Thank You

Jennifer Kelley's EDM310 Class Blog said...

Mr. McClung,

My name is Jennifer and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. Thank you for sharing your reflections with us. I can only hope that as a first year teacher I will be able to learn as much as you have. Your thoughts on communication really spoke to me. Communication is essential in all relationships and can only deepen understanding between co-workers, parents, students, and administration. Two of your other topics, Don't Be Afraid of Technology and Never Stop Learning, are the basis of our EDM class. I would like you to visit our class blog or my personal blog if you have the time. Again, thank you for sharing and would like to know if you have anything new to add to these lessons now that you are almost through with your third year.

Nickolas Sullivan said...

Thank you Mr McClung for this post. While it will be hard to keep some of this advice in mind it nice to have someone remind me of these things now. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class currently and we talk about many of the different problems and solutions you discussed. It's important for us as students and future educators to have these windows in our future profession to encourage us to develop these skills now. One of the big ones is communication, with students and colleagues alike, and I am glad you pointed it out. It'
s important to communicate, keep an open mind, be ready to change, not let the bumps that come throw you off, and it's always nice when others remind me of these facts. You can contact me on twitter (@rustedgears) or read my blog here

Michelle French said...

Mr. McClung,

My name is Michelle French. I'm a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I believe that it is important to apply many different aspects of teaching in a classroom. While I have not started my student teaching yet, I understand the need to listen to students opinions in class. It is better to be able to learn than to not grow in experiences. Thank you for this reflection. I now feel better for when I become a first year teacher. I can be contacted on twitter (@frenchmichelle9) or on my blog.

Kristie George said...

My name is Kristie George. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I would like to say that I really enjoyed your post. This was great to see how you learned and matured from your first year of teaching. I too agree, that we can not pressure our students to learn but encourage them. It is definitely about the students learning and not just being taught. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Leiha Casler said...

Mr. Mcclung,
I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 course. Thank you so much for this post. It has some great advice in it. As new teachers, we will need all the advice we can get. I love your advice about communication and flexibity.

Jessica Sanders EDM310 said...

My Name is Jessica Sanders and I am a elementary education major at the University of South Alabama.I really enjoyed this post. I can tell that Mr. McClung is a man of wisdom and also a life-long learner. He is also a great listener and know the importance of taking the time to teach his students life lessons. I appreciate this blog assignment. It is very refreshing to see a teacher that enjoys his job, and is not limited to what he sees in his surroundings.Keep up the good work! The future is so bright and limitless.Contact me on twitter @ JESSIELIZEDM310

Samera said...

Hello Mr. McClung! My name is Samera Johnson and I am an EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama. As a class assignment I am required to comment on your blog. I first want to say that I thought this post was amazing. As an employee in a high school setting I can not agree with you more. So many teachers forget that there are they for the student, that they got in to education for the children to teach and inspire. I really enjoyed reading this post and thank you for writing it.

Kevin White said...

Hello Mr. McClung,
My name is Kevin White and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently enrolled in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. As part of our assignment we are to comment on your blog.

I read your first year reflection and I agree with all the conclusions that you have come too.

Communication is very important for students and teachers alike. A very common reason people get fired from jobs is lack of communication skills. I think this is because communication is hard. Some people are better than others, but most people can be proficient communicators with practice.

I also agree, and so does Dr. Strange, that teachers/educators need to be life long learners. Most people won't be able to learn everything by age 25, so lifelong learning is vital to increasing your value as a teacher...to your bosses and students.

Reading the audience is a very important skill/tool that can be in a teacher's arsenal. I assume that students won't understand terms, concepts, events or ideas the same way I do, and it is important to be a teaching chameleon.

I will be writing a further analysis on this specific post on my blog under "Blog Assignment 8". I am also on twitter, @kevinwhite8511

Thanks Mr. McClung,
Kevin White

Caileigh said...

Mr. McClung,
I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I really appreciate that you took the time to write this post. I know that many students wonder, and even worry a little, about their first year of teaching. I think you wrote some very helpful tips that will help all of us get over some of that anxiety.

The part you wrote about the "perfect plan", has me written all over it. I do not like to stray from my plans EVER. Many teachers have pushed lesson plans, lesson plans, lesson plans. It gives my mind a sense of calm to know that I do not have to teach my class "perfectly" from my lesson plans. I would be a mess!

I also really liked what you said about listening to your students. In high school I never thought my teachers cared what I had to say, and needless to say, that was not very motivating. I really do want to know my students, and understand how they like to learn and what they think about different things.

You give some great advice on all of the other topics as well. Once again thank you for taking your time and doing this for all of us nervous, anxious, soon to be teachers. I appreciate it. You can contact me at Caileigh McCulloch or at @caileighshea.
Thank you,
Caileigh McCulloch

Deana O. Nunn said...

Mr. McKlung,
My name is Deana Nunn. I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at The University of South Alabama. I am pursuing a degree in Secondary English/Language Arts. Dr. Strange assigned your blog post for us to read as a required assignment. I am really glad that he did. The fact that you were able to give yourself an honest evaluation at the end of the year is something that you should be proud of. It shows that you are willing to continue learning. That is something that Dr. Strange wants us to take from his class; continuous learning.
I enjoyed your post and the truths that you spoke are things that I will take with me when I start my career. Thank you for sharing what you have learned so that we can learn from you.

Deana Nunn
@deananunn
My Blog

SHERRELE said...

Awesome job!I see teacher make these common mistakes all the time.I like the fact that you mentioned that teachers need to listen.Many teachers think they know it all and will never accept suggestions from their students.In my opinion,everyone can learn from one another regardless of age differences.By the way,I am student in EDM310 at University of South Alabama.
Twitter:PrettyEducated
Blogger:http://grimessherreleedm310.blogspot.com

Bobbi Jo said...

Mr. McClung,

I am currently in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. We are given weekly blog assignments and this week we were to read this blog post and leave you a comment.
This post is most inspiring and encouraging. I still have a few more years of school before I begin my first year of teaching. Your blog seems to answer many of my questions, some that I might not have thought about yet. I wanted to thank you for sharing this great insight with everyone and for having the ability for self-reflection. We should all strive to be continual learners.
Again thanks for this post,
Bobbi Jo Nelson
my blog or tweet me at bobbijonelson

Amy said...

Mr. McClung,
Thank you for taking the time to reflect on your first year of teaching. I am reading your post for EDM 310 with Dr. Strange at USA where I can be reached at http://wilbornamyedm310.blogspot.com/. Initially, I'm sure you wanted everything to go according to plan, but you realized there is more than one way to skin a cat as they say. The bottom line was that you have found ways to teach with understanding and that your students have a high regard for you. I am sure you will have continued success. Thank you again for writing about the experience you had in your first year of teaching.
Amy Wilborn

Sarah Nelson said...

Hi, my name is Sarah Nelson. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr.Strange's EDM310 Summer class. Reading your blog was a required assignment in my class, but I really enjoyed what you had to say. I felt as if it was genuine and made me aspire to learn as much as you did in just one year. I valued your honesty and advice on relaxing and keeping faith in students when we expect more than they can give.Reading how you put the students at the center of your lessons made me want to really think about how I am going to teach and focus on my students.I enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading more. Thank you very much.

Sarah Nelson
#sarahnelson711
Nelsonsarah@edm310blogspot.com

Cinda said...

Mr. McClung,
I am a student at The University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class this semester. Our class was assigned to read you very interesting blog.
I really learned a lot from reading your blog, you make some really great points. You write about how to read your audience. I feel that this is problem that a lot of first year teachers experience. As new teachers they are trying to impress their superiors and losing sight of being sure that the students are enjoying and learning the lesson. I wrote a response on your blog post on my blog at prescottlucindaedm310.blogspot.com.
Thank you,
Cinda Prescott

Emily said...

Mr. McClung, Your post was amazing! I am a student of Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. Your post has really helped me and I feel that I will think about each of these helpful points whenever I am teaching. Thank you for posting this, I know it will help me and other teachers out! You can contact me via twitter at emily_kinney or by my personal blog.

kelsey hayward said...

Mr. McClung,
Thank you for sharing your views and experiences in the classroom for being a first year education teacher! I think that for you to share your experiences with the world, just shows that you are open to be critiqued, if needed, but yet you are there letting others know the truth about teaching and what lies ahead for everyone.
I am in EDM310 and I am thankful that we got assigned to your particular blog because it is all the truth and it is what we will have to learn and grow with. I would love to hear more about your further years of teaching, and how it is going compared to your first year! You can follow me on twitter at kh1189 or feel free to comment on my blog.

Carey Dekle's EDM310 Class Blog said...

Mr. McClung,
I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am currently enrolled in Dr. Strage's EDM310 class, and your post has been assigned to us! I really appreciate you sharing your first experience with others! I think hearing first hand from someone who has been there is a great way to learn what works and what doesn't! I would say the central theme of our entire EDM310 class is that we should never stop learning, so I'm glad you touched on that point! I think it's also to keep in mind that not every lesson will go as planned, and that we just need to build and grow on it! Thanks again for your post! I really enjoyed reading it!
Carey Dekle
e-mail-ccdekle@gmail.com
Twitter- cdeklemusic
Blog- deklecareyedm310.blogspot.com

Heath said...

Dear Mr. McClung
My name is Heath Morris, I am a elementary education student at the University of South Alabama and am commenting on your post as a requirement to my EDM 310 course. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and all of the helpful tips in it. I agree that building rapport in the workplace is built upon communication. Also, I liked the part of your post mentioning how people get to caught up in the delivery of their information and forget about the students comprehension of the material. I look forward to using your tips in my first year of teaching.

Thank you for sharing, and you can contact me at morrisheathedm310.blogspot.com or via twitter @heathmo17

Heath Morris

Elizabeth said...

Mr. McClung,

I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in the USA. We were required to read your blog post as an assignment for class. Your post has really given me some good advice to take with me when I become a teacher. You should write a guidebook for us new teachers! Your advice about remembering that ultimately the goal is what your students learn from your teaching, not how your superiors perceive your teaching really spoke to me. It will be a hard transition to make, but a necessary one. I also enjoyed your section about "planned" lessons. That will also be a tough one for me to adjust to because I have so many plans and ideas for my future classroom! I do not need to get my hopes too high. Thank you so much for these invaluable tips. I will definitely keep them with me.


Elizabeth Brooks

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/Lizzzybell

Christy said...

Hey Mr. McClung! My name is Christy Hayes and I am a student in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. Thanks you so much for this post. I know I am not a teacher yet but I will be able to use your newly found knowledge to better myself and my students when the time comes. I liked how you spoke about teachers being afraid to learn to use technology in today's world. Please feel free to contact me at my blog http://hayeschristyedm310.blogspot.com/
Good Luck in your many years to come!

Josh Milne said...

Mr. McClung,
I was assigned to read your post as a requirement for my EDM310 class with Dr. Strange at the University of South Alabama. I found your reflection of your first year to be very informative and i enjoyed reading it. I agree that it is important to teach student centered lessons because a great lesson is nothing unless the students comprehend and understand the information. We do owe it to the students wot be life long learners because if we aren't we are not properly preparing them for their surroundings. Great post and you can follow me on twitter @jmilne03 or check out My Blog
Thanks,
Josh Milne

Ouida McDaniel said...

Hello Mr. McClung
I, like so many others that have left comments, am a student of Dr. John Strange at the University of South Alabama. I am so glad that your post is a requirement for my class. I must say awesome post.
You seemed to have gone into your first year of teaching with an open mind. This in itself is an accomplishment. As fresh teachers we have so many requirements that we worry about that we tend to forgot that we won't be perfect and things will go wrong. It is key to learn from all our experiences, good and bad, and your blog show us that it is possible to do that if we just try.
Thank you so much for this post. It gives me things to think about as I prepare to go into teaching that I might not have thought about. Again Thank you
Ouida McDaniel

My EDM310 Class blog

Heather Rigby said...

Hi Mr.McClung! My name is Heather Rigby and I read your blog as a requirement for Dr.Strange's EDM310. I really enjoyed your "sneak peek" to the first year of teaching. I think that your post has better prepared me as to what to expect as a first year teacher.

I have made a brief summary on my blog at http://rigbyheatheredm310.blogspot.com/ if you would like to check it out.

Once again thank you so much for sharing this insight to what many of us upcoming teachers have no idea about. I really and truly enjoyed it! Especially when you stated we all must continue to learn!

Clemente said...

Hi Mr. McClung
I am a student at The University of South Alabama in Mobile, taking EDM 310 under Dr Strange. I enjoyed your blog which gave great pointers to prospective teachers that I know we will need.
/b>
Checking for student comprehension has to be there forget the Peer Assessment if we teach to the student and do a good job the assessment will definitely be good.
/b>
This is very important to the students experience in the class. There will be many times we will have to adjust to the students. Teachable Moments will present themselves and we must take advantage of them.
/b>
Communication is a key aspect in teaching as we will be required to engage in numerous discussions as professionals.
/b>
I will set lofty goals for my students and expect them to reach for them. When they reach high they won't miss their goals by much. Some may even reach them. I will take a great attempt any day and be reasonable with the students who miss.
/b>
I am so afraid of this technology effect but I am the type to try. The more I work in EDM 310 (Dr. Strange) the more positive and comfortable I get.
/b>
We must listen to students as most teachers don't. They label their students disruptive or failures when all they need to do is listen. This is a major part of our job because we too can learn.
/b>
We must continue to train and learn for our professional development. The world is faster than it has ever been with students coming to class already computer literate. We must keep up so maintain an appropriate level of knowledge.
This was a great blog filled with first hand experience by a first year teacher. Thank You Mr. McClung.

Brad said...

Hey Mr. McClung, I am Brad Goldman, a student in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class and I am commenting on my blog about your post. You can also twitter me. I thought you post was amazing. It was very insightful about being a teacher, and really shows how you can't just automatically be a great teacher, you got to get in there and learn it. The part that really got me was the point that teaching is about the kids. I really agree that a lot of teachers are more worried about what their superiors think than if the kids are learning. I really appreciate this post, it has really gave me some great insight. I hope things are still going well for you man, but I'm sure your doing just fine.

Kim said...

Mr. McClung,
I enjoyed reading your blog. I am a student of Dr. Strange at the University of South Alabama taking EDM310. I would love you to visit my class blog and read my response at http://summerskimberlyedm310.blogspot.com/
Blog Assignment #9. I have been in education for 20 years, sometimes in or out of the classroom. The learning never stops. I was also wondering how things were now that you had a few years under your belt--then, I read your latest post!! Thanks for sharing.

Gemini Sigler said...

Mr. McClung,

I love the idea of your blog. Posting things you learned through your journey as an educator is a great idea. I learned of your post through Dr. Strange's EDM 310 course a the University of South Alabama. I am sure you know already but this is a course designed to educate students on becoming technology literate educators.

I am definitely going to apply a few things that you have learned from your first year to my journey. Although I haven't started my student teaching yet, I will carry this advice with me as I prepare to enter the classroom. You motivate me to be a flexible, life long learner.

Thanks for your expressions and I look forward to reading more about your journey. I have posted comments about your blog on my blog. You may follow my blog at Gemini Sigler's EDM 310 Class Blog or Follow SiglerGem on Twitter

jeff said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I am a student in Dr Strange's EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I started teaching middle school science in 1998 and i'm taking this class to learn and to renew my teaching certificate. I especially agree with you're points about the lessons we plan are seldom like the lessons we teach, and listening to your students. Many of them really don't have anyone that will really listen. Thank you for sharing your views. You can contact me at raybonjeffreyedm310.blogspot. com. (the Holy Grail is one of the best ever!!) Thanks

Sean said...

Hello Mr. McClung, my name is Sean Whatley, I am a student of Dr. Strange in his EDM 310 class. I really enjoyed your blog and appreciate you sharing valuable tips on what is important to becoming a great teacher. I can see how as a first year teacher one might be so focused on pleasing their superiors, that they lose focus on the students. I know after reading your post I will keep your helpful tips in mind once I become a teacher, staying focused on the true meaning of being an educator, which is to educate. Thank you for sharing your lessons learned with us; if you would like to leave me a message please contact me at. At whatley7113@gmail.com or visit by blog http://whatleyseanedm310.blogspot.com/

Alana said...

Mr.McClung,
I am a student in Dr.Strange's EDM310 class and we were assigned this post to write on. I found this very inspirational and moving. Your section on being flexible was the one that had the most impact on me. Thank you for sharing what you learned during your first year. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
Alana

escobioalanaedm310.blogspot.com
twitter.com/#!/AlanaEscobio

Deana O. Nunn said...

Mr. McClung,
I want to apologize to you for misspelling your name in my earlier post. I have made a classic "rookie" mistake. I will definitely learn from this. Again, I apologize. I meant no disrespect.
Thank you,
Deana Nunn
@deananunn

Reza Schwarz said...

Luckily I now know what to do with my writing tasks. Now i have 1st writing service..

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