Teaching Gen Y

customer-service-generation-y

Net Gen,  the Millennials, tech natives or something else… It doesn’t matter how you name it, but there is a reality that they are very different from any other generations. To be honest, as I read the characteristics of generation Y in the article, I realized that I am also a member of Gen Y. I have always thought that me and my students are from different generations. Thanks God, I am not that old. However, I still believe that there are also differences between Gen Yers. For example, according to the dates in the article, I am also a gen Y, but our students and me behave differently. As if we were from different planets. They behave as if they couldn’t live a second without technology, But I can survive for a couple of days 🙂 In addition to this, I don’t agree with what the article claims. I like reading a lot. I can read anything, including explanations on the care products like creams, toothpaste and perfumes. I don’t think that gen Y doesn’t read. They read, but in a different way. They prefer online books on smart phones, PCs and tablet PCs. As Prensky referred they are “digital natives or people born into technology” (2001). They just don’t use books the way we define them.

I agree that “Sage on the stage” motto is dead for those students, I mean Gen Y. However, as long as traditional teachers adapt themselves according to their current needs by following the technology; keeping up with technological developments, they can be still efficient teachers. Our mentor teacher is trying to use as many technological devices as she can. Nevertheless, she feels as if she had to catch up with other teachers and finished the course book in time. That’s why she mainly uses the traditional way of teaching. Thanks to the design of the course book, students sometimes have a chance to watch a video or do an exercise on the smart board.  During the lesson they feel bored most of the time, because they are used to touching tablets, phones, etc.  They find pencil, paper types of things uninteresting.

The other article was about understanding teenagers and meeting their needs. I find it very helpful in terms of telling the logic behind teenager behaviors and offering a couple of activities for teachers. As we learn that generation Y teenagers are dynamic and wants to be active all the time, we should choose exercises requiring physical activities. They like being mobile in the class. I can see it while observing my classroom. Almost everybody tends to move from one place to another. They walk around, change their seats very often, etc.  The article also claims that teenagers like social interaction. I think it’s obvious that they are so fond of being a member of a social network. They share almost every moment of their life via online platforms. By taking this into consideration, we, teachers should increase the number of group activities in the classroom. If they like being social, let them be during the lesson too. Another point is creating a stress free learning environment. I couldn’t agree more. Even adults have hard times in dealing with strict deadlines, so how can teenagers do it? I believe being a flexible teacher will make them more creative and enthusiastic in the class. However, flexibility shouldn’t be turned into irresponsibility or laxity. There should be a balance in tolerance.

Lastly, I have seen the short movie “The Crush”, and I found that something is wrong  between  the teacher’s and the student’s relationship. Although I am not sure, I think the teacher’s attitude towards the kid is not appropriate. She is aware of the fact that the kid feels something for her. It’s quite normal in those years for the kids. They may feel admired for  anybody older than them and they may think that they are in love with him/her. However, the point is the situation should be explained to the kid in a plain language. The teacher shouldn’t continue his/her play and pretend that s/he loves him/her back. Teachers should know how to deal with it, instead of ignoring the student and saying it’s just a kid and s/he will realize what s/he feels when s/he gets older. If you are interested in the video, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp3N9xHbX9o

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