Mr. McClung's End of School Year Reflection for 2010-11
What I Learned This Year (2010-11)." He began by talking about all of the changes that had occurred during the year: it was his first year to teach at the same school for more than one year, it was his first experience as a cross country head coach, and it was also his first experience as a computer applications teacher. He made several inspiring points in his post, discussing the impact these changes had on him as an educator. One point he made was knowing who your boss is. As a teacher, he did a lot of people-pleasing on a daily basis, but the people he set out to please were adults (administration) rather than his students. He talked about how important it is not to get consumed with trying to please individuals, especially if you begin neglecting your own students. He made an eye-opening statement that really stuck with me; he said, "Our decision making process should always be student centered and not centered around pleasing adults." As a coach myself, I also find that I try to please the administration of the school and/or the parents of my players. Sometimes, I would get so focused on making sure they liked what I was doing that I lost focus on my main priority: my players. After some soul-searching, I vouched that I would strive to never again lose my main focus. Just as Mr. McClung's duty is to his students, my duty is to my players, their development in volleyball, and their well-being. I was able to really relate to Mr. McClung's description of this topic.
Mr. McClung went on to talk about not being afraid to be an outsider and not getting too comfortable with an everyday routine. He discussed how he enjoyed hanging out and eating lunch with his students more so than he did with his fellow teachers. He described how it's okay if you don't "fit in" as a teacher because there will always be people who don't like what your doing or how your doing it. He stated, "I play my music way too loud, I eat my lunch with students and not in the teacher's lounge, I enjoy being connected to my students through blogging and social media, and I enjoy being immature." I thought that was very admirable of him to say. I think it's important to be an outgoing teacher who can relate to his or her students, while also teaching them information on how to accomplish goals they may have never thought possible. Mr. McClung also talked about how a teacher's biggest fear should be when he or she becomes too comfortable. Though routines are good, we do not need to become so comfortable in our daily routines that we coast through our work. We need to become "movers and shakers" in education according to Mr. McClung, and to do that, we need to be passionate advocates for the changes that need to happen in our schools.
Mr. McClung's End of School Year Reflection for 2011-12
What I Learned This Year - Volume 4 (2011-12)." This post was Mr. McClung's year four reflection on teaching. It related to his year three reflection because he again talked about pleasing his peers (which are his fellow teachers). He said that this year he was going to make a point to try and see how his peers viewed him and the way he taught. Though he was pleasing his students, he wanted to explore the thoughts of his peers. After further reflection, he realized that he has to "dance with the one who brought him to the dance." His focus has always been on making sure his students have fun, so he decided that is what he needs to stick with. Being a people-pleasing person myself, Mr. McClung's ideas are something I need to keep in mind. The main focus of being an educator should always be the students. Though it is not wrong to please adults, we should continue to focus on making sure the kids are taken care of and are enjoying class.
The second topic Mr. McClung discussed in his post was challenging yourself. This school year was his third consecutive year teaching the same subjects at the same school. He found himself resorting to using the same lesson plans and activities, so his creativity was beginning to vanish. He said, "My goal as an educator is to do everything I can to ensure that students enjoy class and not resent school as I did as a child." I can relate to that because as a kid, I hated when my teachers did the same boring, monotonous thing day in and day out. After a while, I wasn't challenged anymore because the teachers had been doing the same lessons and using the same materials for years and years. When I first began my journey to becoming a future teacher, I made a promise to myself; I would not be "that" teacher that the students did not enjoy going to her class. Though one of my main goals is to ensure my students receive a quality education, I want to impact their lives on more than just an academic level. Just as Mr. McClung described, I want my students to leave my class with a sense that I cared about them personally and that I did everything I could to make their school year awesome.