Its such a wonderful feeling when we attend a staff development session that ignites a fire, creating enthusiasm. It doesn’t happen very often, but that’s what happened last week.
Its the start of the new academic year, and as always, we start off with some staff development. I can’t say I was thrilled with much of the mandatory routine coverage, but there were a couple of things that caught my attention. One was how different generations feel about their learning and how we should adapt our teaching to maximise their learning. That sounds good, right? It got me to thinking, so I’m coming to you today with some thoughts for reflection and maybe some questions to answer.
It was pointed out that many of the educators possibly fall into the Baby Boomer Generation or Generation X, but the majority of our students fall into the Millenial Generation or GenZ. I also read that Generation A will be entering the workplace soon. This creates an imbalance in our learning experiences and those that we’re trying to educate.
I’m not going to explain what the features are for the different generations, but I’m sure you’re aware of the differences when you’re dealing with people from these different generations.
As an educator, I need to be aware of the dynamics in the class – that the GenZ student has a short attention span, is digitally savvy regarding their mobile phone, but not necessarily a PC. I was shocked to learn that they’ll vote with their feet if they’re unhappy or don’t see the relevance of a topic/class. I need to adapt how I engage with them so they commit to their learning and stay in the classroom (that might explain some of the behaviours I was seeing last year).
My thinking is that its fine to be aware of these differences, and to adapt my teaching to be more effective in the classroom. However, as well as teaching HR related subjects, I’m also preparing students for the world, for employment.
- As managers and employers, what skills, knowledge and behaviour do you need to see developed in our young people?
- How do we harness the skills that these generations are bringing into the workplace, but ensure that they fit into the workplace today and in the future?
- If you are a Millenial or GenZ – or perhaps a new Generation A person, what do you need from us, educators, employers etc?
I believe its fine having different groups of people being told what to do, what is needed etc, but we need to have a conversation – get everyone around the table in an open, honest and non-judgemental conversation so we can ensure that the various generations today and in the future, can all work together, to support each other and play to each other’s strengths in a way that benefits everyone.
I’d love to get a conversation going today, so please share your thoughts in the Comments Section. I look forward to hearing from you.
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