01 April 2012

Blog post #9

Mr. McClung

At the Teacher's Desk
Joe McClung started teaching in the fall of 2008. His first job was in Noel, Missouri where he taught 6th grade science. After his first year of teaching, he moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and began teaching Social Studies and History on the 8th grade level. Mr. McClung started a blog post about what he had learned over the course of the school year. He has taught for three years and each one of the blog post are a great read. It is excellent to be able to read about the experiences and lessons learned from a teacher just starting out.
Mr. McClung was experiencing some difficulties with his school change and subject change. His experiences from his first year of teaching, the year prior, were of tremendous help with this huge change, but is some regards, he had to teach himself how to teach all over again. With new students, new subjects, and new administration, the proverbial deck was stacked against him. Through out the year, he learned a great deal about himself, his students, and his strengths and weaknesses. I think the most important lesson of all was to not loose sight of what is important: The students.
This year, Mr. McClung experienced a few more firsts. This was the first time he had taught at the same school for two consecutive years, he began coaching the cross country team, and taught computer applications.
I especially liked the "Don't be Afraid to be an Outsider" topic.

"I play my music way too loud, I eat my lunch with students and not in the teacher's lounge, I enjoy being connected to my students through blogging and social media, and I enjoy being immature."

That is how I see my self as an educator. I thihk there is, at times, too much of a disconnect between teachers and their students. Almost like an "I am better than you" attitude because of the position of authority an educator or sports coach has. I enjoy evolving myself in the daily goings on with my teen aged children and their friends. I coached middle school football last year and seemed to have the respect and admiration of the kids more so than the rest of the coaching staff simply because I made a stronger connection with them by carrying on conversations with the kids and showing them that I cared about what they had going on in their lives. I believe that connecting with students at a personal level is absolutely critical.
It seems as though Mr. McClung is coming in to his own. Every year he finds out more about himself and adds additional tools to his teaching repertoire. I will definitely bookmark his blog for future reading as his "What I Learned This Year" series continues.

Mr. McClung also has another, very good, blog here. This blog is more a "daily goings on" for his Social Studies and AVID classes as well as the cross country and track teams. Good stuff.


  1. Robert,
    I enjoyed reading your post. I also liked that you included a little bit of background information about Mr. McClung and his teaching career. Overall, you did a good job summarizing Mr. McClung's posts. You also include nice pictures and links. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hello Robert,

    This was a fantastic post. You are very engaging. Great job.