What I've Learned This Year
This blog is about a new teacher in Noel, Missouri, Mr McClung. He is telling everything he has learned since he began teaching. He starts off with "How to Read a Crowd". He says that he was so worried about how he was being assessed from the supervisors, that he made his lectures teacher-centered and not student centered. He said that the most important aspect of teaching is checking for student comprehension. That's very true. What's the point of teaching when the students don't understand?
He goes on to say that every professor tries to make the perfect lesson. He says the lesson you teach is never the one you plan. I read an article for another class I am currently taking that said you can never put a time limit on good teaching. You will never know what the lesson will really be like, the only objective is to make sure the students understand the material. If the lesson doesn't go exactly as planned, just work with it. It will all most likely work itself out in the end.
He then says communication is the best medicine. It is the best way to resolve any issue anywhere, whether it be in a classroom, at work, at home, etc. Although communication sounds "easy", it is probably one of the most difficult skills to develop. Having a good relationship with fellow teachers and students all depend on communication. Without that, we're just a bunch of strangers to each other.
Another issue he addressed was teachers have high expectations for their students. Some reach them, others don't. He says some teachers really loose touch and forget that, like themselves, the children are not perfect. The job of the teacher is to simply pick them up after they fail, dust them off, and encourage them to try again. If a student is constantly being told they aren't doing something right, they will eventually quit trying. Everyone needs encouragement every now and then.
He eventually gets to the part about technology. I'm sure this was Dr. Strange's part. He says technology is our friend and is essential to living in our microwave society today. Teachers do not need to be afraid to use computers. The only damage they can do by using a computer, is learning. If you start at the bottom, you can only go up. So it's just like Mr. McClung says, "...jump in head first, the water feels fine. :)"
Teachers need to take interests in their students lives. A teacher that does not know anything about their students, will have no communication with them, and eventually no relationship with them. So yes, it's that important.
Last, but most definitely no least, he says teachers should never stop learning. Teachers work in a learning environment so why not learn as much as you can?
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