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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Comments on "What I've Learned this Year" by Mr. McClung

What I’ve Learned This Year by Mr. McClung

I enjoyed this post in that Mr. McClung shares the real side of teaching. I often wonder how I am going to put my education into motion in the classroom. Endless information about child psychology, diversity, and technology are presented to us. We hear snippets about the adverse conditions of the classroom and student population such as not enough resources (money nor people), pacing guide, standardized tests, student home life, learning disabilities, truancy, teen pregnancy, etc. At times it seems overwhelming to me to think that I will need to meet the pacing guide and standardized testing with all of these obstacles. There are a lot of teachers that make it happen, that their students learn. Their students learn more than the material that will “be on the test” and have opportunities to explore and enjoy learning. How do they do it? I’ve been told that it’s not until a teacher gets into the classroom that the real training begins.

Mr. McClung tells us about that. His learning curve was steep his first year. I expect mine to look much like Mt. Everest. Flexibility and positive attitude while focusing on the comprehension by the children seems to be his recommendation, in a nutshell. It seems to me from his last comment that he is a great net worker. Listening to the students as well as being a life long learner sounds like they are part of the formula for being a successful teacher.

I look forward to getting into the classroom, and wish it was more of an integral part of our entire time in the education program at USA. The toolbox I’m filling while in the program will have all sorts of tricks and treats that I will be ready to pull out when needed. I don’t think that until I actually work with students awhile, that I’ll know which ones will go to the bottom, and those that are necessities. And then there will be the teacher network that will have infinitely many lessons on what works and what doesn’t.

I hope he shares year two with us.


  1. Mr. McClung is a great friend. We will probably have a Skype session with him this semester to see how Year 2 is continuing.

  2. As long as your focus is on your students, you will be fine. What will surprise you is how much at school has nothing to do with educating the students.

  3. I completely understand where you're coming from as far as it goes with the standardized testing. I'm a bit intimidated at the thought. I mean, it really is going to be a bit of a challenge "teaching to the test." I'm also scared that it might get a bit boring. I'm hoping I'll be able to explore different topics, and cover the required curriculum, but I know that it's going to be quite the challenge.

  4. Interesting comment, Mr. C. You're not the first teacher I've heard say that. I've heard teachers say that their time just teaching, the kids all to themselves, in their room, learning and creating is so limited. Have you seen that to be a trend (of degradation) of the school day or has that always been the case? It seems so broken.

  5. I agree with you when it comes to standardized testing. I am also intimidated. I just can't wait to get into the classroom and get some hands on experience!