Mr. McClung 08-09 and Mr. McClung 11-12
Mr. McClung really cares about his students and you can tell it from what he wrote in his blogs. My son that is in the seventh grade this year has a teacher that really cares about the students and how they perceive learning. On a daily basis my son comes home and has something positive to say about his teacher which he respects very much. That same teacher also expects a lot of the students, but approaches their learning in a very positive and encouraging manner. I hope I can attain that same effectiveness with my future students. Reading Mr. McClung's first year review and comments made me really think about how I will be as a first year teacher myself. It is a bit scary the closer I get to completing my degree and stepping into the classroom for the first time. I feel that I have a support system with my wife being a teacher, her mom being a retired teacher, and several good friends that are currently in teaching positions just like where I will be in less than two years. That support system gives me some comfort to my growing nervousness. I know my first year will be like a roller coaster of successes and failures, but I can hold on to the thought of keeping my students at the center of what I do as an educator to guide them in the right direction in learning.
That nervousness I spoke of also contains the thoughts of becoming an ineffective teacher. Becoming comfortable with any task can lead to mistakes and a detrimental ripple effect in education. If I fail in properly educating my students then they will continue to struggle after they leave my classroom. One of the main reasons I am becoming a teacher is to revitalize the subject of social studies and history in secondary schools. I have three sons in 4th, 7th, and 11th grades and I hear them speak of social studies and history in different ways. Two of them do not look forward to those subjects and the other enjoys them. My wife does not speak very highly of her past experiences with history either. So I ask the question, why? My wife says that her experience was a bunch of facts that she had to memorize and burp back out which was not interesting and how she doesn't remember any of the content. Two of my sons say pretty much the same things about history and civics being boring. I want to make history come alive and be something my students go home and talk about with their parents. I want social studies projects to be something my students are excited about and get creative with.
The thoughts of becoming too comfortable and losing that spark is very scary. Teachers that fall into that rut, do not plan for it to be that way. It is not like a teacher starts the year off by saying "This year I plan to use the same old ideas because I am lazy". It is something that is circumstantial and happens before the teacher ever realizes it. Ineffectiveness can be avoided by maintaining an accountability with other teachers not necessarily just in your school but in other schools as well. This doesn't mean worrying over what they think of you, as Mr. McClung spoke of in his blog but more of a support system to keep each other in check. Again as long as I keep my students at the center of my focus then I should be just fine, alluding to Mr. McClung's thoughts.