Millennials are already making up the largest portion of newly-hired teachers. What happens then, when our schools are primarily Millennial teachers? Here are some things to expect from the new cohort of academics and how they are altering the climate of classrooms and lecture halls.
Millennials are digital natives who are adept in technology. From sending emails to reading e-books and maintaining a strong social media presence, these individuals will incorporate tech in their teaching methods, radically transforming the conventional concept of the classroom. We are potentially looking at a learning environment fueled by online interconnectedness and a focus steered towards a steady course of self-directed research and remotely conducted lectures.
As expected of their great level of independence, Millennial teachers tend to target the feasibility of an idea or action based on inquiry. Norms will be constantly questioned as novel methods are introduced to improve a situation. This is an integral practice that Millennial teachers will impart to their students. Due to their freedom and a tenacity spirit of enquiry, many Millennials find themselves unaffiliated with traditional groups such as those belonging to politics or religion. This results in an atmosphere of inclusiveness where social segregations and prejudices are obviated. This impartiality may be expected to be passed on to students, leading to a less divisive and more efficient world.
Non-teaching staff in management are also required to make changes in their practices to better interact with the Millennial educators. Having a shorter attention span and a firm vision towards self-development and personal growth means that job placements in schools need to focus on mentoring programs and ample opportunities for the upgrade of relevant skills. As many Millennials are financially set back by the student loans undertaken during their academic pursuits, an increase in the number of available grants and sponsorships by hiring institutions may secure the interest of Millennial teaching staff in the long run.
Schools should have heads of departments that are mentor figures, who are willing to bring out the best in Millennials. A stronger emphasis should be placed on improving existing strengths, rather than identifying weaknesses.
Millennial teachers will ultimately encourage students to preserve their aspirations rather than live vicariously for the ambitions and perspectives of the past generation.
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