- How to Read the Crowd
- Be Flexible
- Be Reasonable
- Don't be Afraid of Technology
- Listen to Your Students
- Never Stop Learning
- The Path Least Traveled
- Find Your School Mom
- Check You Ego At The Door
- Don't Be a Control Freak
- Scope and Sequence
- Don't Lose Sight of What's Important
- It's What You Learn After You Know It All That Matters
Above are the headers for each section of McClung's What I've Learned in the Past Year blog posts from 2008-2010. The points that I've deemed most important have been made bold.
Mr. McClung writes that it's important to remain flexible when teaching because a lesson plan never goes according to plan. This point is very crucial and yet rather simple, in my opinion. Next, Mr. Joe McClung says that communication is important and he explains that it isn't really the communication with students that he learned from, but dealing with other teachers. At the same time, Mr. McClung suggests finding someone, whom he calls a "School Mom" to help you navigate the individual quirks of the school you are teaching at. He then says that listening to ones students is essential and that teacher do not know in enough, in general about the students they are teaching. Mr. McClung brings up adapt because he taught at a different school the second year, then his first. His second year he taught in three different subjects.
Mr. McClung warns not to lose yourself in teaching and simply going with the flow. He suggests taking whatever path suits you and if you're the only person on it, so be it. Finally, he says that it's important to let things happen in the classroom. If a classroom discussion gets slightly off topic, but the kids are learning and paying attention, then don't stress it. Basically, "don't lose sight of what's important," which is doing the very best you can for you students.
I really enjoyed reading Mr. McClung's blog posts. I think that a great deal of his key points are common sense, but perhaps, I only say that because I've been working with kids for the last 8 years; I don't expect anything to go perfectly according to plan. Regardless, it's not Mr. Joe McClung's key points that I found wonderful, but his comments on the school workplace environment, his realization that he could keep his students attention by asking them get up to get their own handout, and his advice that everyone needs a "School Mom." Also, I was thrilled to read that he didn't give up when he realized that he was just giving lectures. He figured out what he could do and did it. That is exactly the kind of attitude that we need in teachers.