Mr. Joe McClung
The idea of end of the year reflections is a great one, especially for teachers. It reminds us of where our wins and losses were. Did we really do our best throughout the whole year or semester? Did we reach any goals and grow as an individual as well as a teacher? It's important to keep up with this self evaluation, as Mr. McClung pointed out. From the list of four blogs to read from Mr. McClung, I read the last two(found here and here).
The first blog post I read covered was a lot of insight that confirmed how I felt about my teaching career. I want to be the teacher that is a role model and a friend to my students. I want them to feel comfortable in my classroom and always be willing to ask the dumb questions. He phrased it as "putting the students first" and in my own way, I will too.
Another topic he covered happens to already be a vice of mine. I "touch the keyboard" when I'm tutoring. I like sitting at the front and confirming what student are doing right, even if their voice ends up at inflection when answering my questions. I do my best to facilitate their learning and critical thinking skills, but what use is it if I'm the one always asking the right questions and answering half of them? I'm impatient, but it's just another thing to improve, right?
The last subject from this blog post that I liked was about not expecting others to be as excited about change as you are. To me, this is self evident. People become stagnate when they find a good groove and when an inventive or new approach plops on their desk they mentally turn off their brain right after saying to themselves "I've got this covered, thanks." Sure. The past was great, but great things also exist in the future. It might be better or worse, but it's our job to investigate and adequately give things a chance, especially if research and peer educators are giving it a thumbs up. I'm not saying it's necessary to rely on peer educators for this, but it's necessary to evaluate something's use through resources, guides, and intuition.
The second blog I read only reviewed two topics, the first being about always challenging yourself. When going to grade school, I remembered the better days of comparing and contrasting 'Hamlet' movies, Quiz Bowl Fridays, and a competition for building a tennis ball catapult. In other words, it's the extra time that teachers put into making a project follow a lesson plan for a couple of weeks that make lessons memorable, even years later! I still brag about my tennis ball catapult, how many hours and reconstructions it took, and what my physics teacher's catapult looked like! In addition, that lesson had other impacts for me, like knowing how to construct and build something on my own, what factors held back its potential energy, and the list goes on. Challenging oneself is the same way. We need to be inventive and stunningly memorable so it effects the students in the way we want it to. If it doesn't, we should always look back at the black board to tweak or replace it with something better. The point is we don't give up.
The last topic that really perked my interest from this blog was his relating to peers and colleagues his own age. I suppose he's considered a pioneer at this school, but what good is it being a pioneer if you're the one doing it alone? Every Batman needs a Robin and just the same, teachers need someone on their side to help nurture and facilitate great ideas as well as trash bad ones. I'm not saying he's wrong for "out casting" himself, but just the same, peer evaluation can be just as important as a self evaluation.