Lesson 1: Is There an Age Requirements for Guest Speakers?


Over the past three months, I have received heavy amounts of traffic from the students of Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. These students have been visiting my blog as a part of a required reading assignment for their class. First of all it was really cool that Dr. Strange thought enough of my reflective writing to include it as apart of his course, second it is really scary to think of numerous college students reading my work and referring to it as a model that they will use one day…..

Whoa, I’m only 24 years old and still in college myself and the thought of my work being used as a model is scary and gratifying at the same time.

With all this in mind Dr. Strange has as me to join one of this classes this upcoming week as a guest via Skype. I’m so thrilled, once again, that he thinks enough of my work to include me as a speaker in his own classroom. I still see myself as a kid who is having fun in class….I don’t ever really think about what I’m doing in my classes as being a “good model”, but I realized that I need to get over this stigma that I have in regards to my age.

It is not about age at all, in fact I learn new things from my kids everyday and they are more than half my age….instead it is all about sharing experiences, and everyone has an experience that they can share that might help someone else in some shape or form. The key is to abandon the idea that a teacher has to be old and wise….a teacher can be anyone that shares information with a group of individuals that is seen as being “useful”.

Lesson 2: Being Good at Your Job….Not a Requirement for Referees

As a teacher in Fayetteville, I teach students everyday that are as big of Razorback fans as I am. The fact that our school is located in a huge college town, all of my students are highly involved with what is happening with our local university football team. So….needless to say on Monday there was much anger about the game from this previous weekend.

The video above shows several outrageous calls by the officiating crew during last Saturday’s Arkansas v. Florida game. This has been a huge topic of interest this week anywhere you travel in Fayetteville…..in fact just the mention of the “call” will send many people into an uncontrollable rage. While there has been some action taken against these these evil wrong-doers, this game will not be a one that Hog fans will soon forget.

Lesson 3: “School Is Designed To Make You To Fail….Let Me Explain”


D-day came this week in social studies. My students recently took a test over a  civics unit and were a little bit surprised that this test was not quite as “friendly” as the first test they had taken earlier this school year. In my two social studies classes, the class averages were 68% & 70% respectfully…..in other words, not good. Upon reviewing the test and talking to my students about their thoughts of the test, a large majority studied very little (surprise!) At this point I told my students the following, “school is designed to make you fail….let me explain”. After this statement jaws hit the floor and you wouldn’t believe the “you must be crazy” stares that I was receiving at that point.

I was quick to explain that you can’t expect to walk into every class and ace the subject without putting forth any effort. School is designed to make you fail from time to time so that you can learn from your mistakes. You can’t realistically expect to go throughout your school career (or life for that matter) without failing…..and failing is how you learn. A persons school career can be defined as trail and error, if you go through school without experiencing the error aspect, then something is very wrong.

Mr. McClung

2 thoughts on “Lessons Learned”

  1. On lesson one- I agree completely. We can always learn from each other, sometimes we learn a lot from our students! On lesson two- I’m an Alabama fan but I was also very disappointed with that game and “the call”. On lesson three- I concur. It sounds worse than it is but schools are designed to make you fail. That’s part of learning and also part of life. What kind of a school would it be if there was no failing going on? It brings out the important things you may need to remember and it reminds us that we’re human. It also brings about that idea of trying or studying or practicing that we tend to want to put aside. How can you expect to get better if you don’t practice? (“You can’t have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat!”)I just really like this idea you’ve brought to light. It’s not just the answers that we’re learning when we’re wrong, but rather the way to deal with not knowing the answers and how to find them. My name is Dillon Rogers from Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama and I agree with this post. Thank you for posting Mr. McClung. 🙂

  2. Hi. Sorry for posting on this so late. I am from Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. It is so great to hear from a new teacher. You have helped me gain a little more perspective as to what to expect when I begin teaching. I think it is important to listen to students’ opinions. It is a great way to make changes to the course and get good, active feedback on how the class plays out. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!

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