Thursday, January 04, 2018

Teaching Tips 75-77

Sorry. I slacked a little bit over Christmas break and didn't get my Teaching Tips posted yet this week.

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #75

How do you strive to engage your students?

One of the books from my summer reading list a few years ago was Generation iY Tim Elmore.

As a big fan of this generation, I found it refreshing to read this book, which looks at the strengths and weaknesses of this upcoming generation.  Elmore argues that we need to realize their strengths and weaknesses in order to lead them properly.

This is the largest generation of children and young adults in American history.  It would be a crime if we don’t do a proper job mentoring them and educating them so that they can thrive as adults.

Abundance – parents and adults in their lives have simply given them too much.  This leads to the fact that this generation coming up is incredibly pampered and entitled.

Abandonment – at the same time, parents and adults have abandoned kids too.  Ironically, at the same time we are giving them so much, we are also expecting them to be mature and responsible as we Gen Xers were and our parents (Baby Boomers) were.  So when we turn them loose, we are abandoning them.

  • students are over exposed to information far earlier than ever before.  This, actually, is the first generation in history that can simply look everything they need to know up (or watch a Youtube video on it) rather than have to ask someone or listen to a teacher or parent.  This presents a problem for us all, including the students.

  • At the same time, students are underexposed to some of the soft skills vital to thriving as adults – having respect for others, having empathy for others, meeting deadlines, communicating face to face.

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #76

Our students have an abundance problem and an abandonment problem.  How can we deal with this?

One of the books from my summer reading list a few years ago was Generation iY Tim Elmore.

Elmore notes how both abundance and abandonment come together to form the perfect storm for this generation.

Psychologists noted that 25 years ago when parents started removing jungle gyms and mokey bars removed to playgrounds because they were dangerous.  Psychologists noted that this was a bad idea since kids who navigated these structures developed the same cognitive skills that 15-20 years later would allow them to take the risks (and learn to live with the results) like successfully navigating a marriage, a job interview, surviving college . . .   So many young people are suffering from chronic depression from all of the protection we gave them.  They suffer from abundance because in place of the monkey bars and jungle gym we gave them so many other toys and tools.  Yet, we abandoned them when it came time to dealing with failure and building up grit (just think of all those wretched parents who spoiled their kids’ Easter egg hunts in Denver because they actually tried to push other children out of the way to ensure that their own kids got the right amount of eggs).  No wonder we have so many 27 year olds living back at home with mom and dad.

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #77

Teachers need to be mentors, not managers.

One of the books from my summer reading list a few years ago was Generation iY Tim Elmore.

Elmore makes another important observation regarding how to best connect and relate to this generation.

We have to be mentors, not managers.  We have to – in addition to teaching them all the standards and curriculum – to get them emotionally ready and socially ready for adulthood.  Nothing like a daunting task!

  • Think about this assignment – have students shadow an adult, who they consider a mentor, for a day to help them just dip their toe into the adult world.  Now many will say yeah they will have to miss this class or what about this activity.  Give me a break!  Think of all the student could learn in doing that type of shadowing just once a quarter!

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