As a teacher I had never seen myself as one who teaches according to its cultural generation. I was intrigued to learn at a school workshop given by Michelle Maxson that one could have cultural and social attitudes as that of our peers because of the year we were born in.
I belong to a group of people that were born between 1946 and 1964. It was a time of American prosperity and the Vietnam War. I was born in Kansas City, Mo. and my family moved to Mexico City in 1964. At the conference my generation was described as an optimistic group surrounded by the walk on the moon, the womenâ€™s liberation and civil rights movements. I remember being raised in Mexico City surrounded by important events such as the 1968 Summer Olympics and the Mexican Student Movement in Tlatelolco, who shouted â€śWe do not want Olympics, we want a revolution.â€ť So by now, you know, I am from the Baby Boomer generation and my work consists of educating what they call now the Millennial generation.
The Millennial generation is anyone who is born from 1982 and today. Teachers may know their subject, but they will have to train and get acquainted with all the new technology changes in the Millennial generation. They are those children that YouTube has been flooded with videos of them as young as 2 using Flickr. They are the Nexters, Nintendo, and Internet generation. For them vinyl records were totally unheard of, and AIDS has always existed. These are the children that are surrounded by interracial friends and relationships. Different from my generation that was influenced by the Vietnam War and in my case the Mexican Student Movement. These children have been influenced by acts of terrorism, such as Columbine and 9/11. These children have seen an emergence of national pride and patriotism.
Text messaging, e-mailing, and instant messaging are tools that children use all the time and teachers use to communicate with the Millennial generation as well. As a Baby Boomer with a Millennial son, I spend my time trying to stay ahead with the changes. These students feel that they have better ideas to put new technology to use than their teachers can. I really try to listen to what they have to say. To them virtual reality is no longer science fiction. They are the children of the Kinect and X Box generation. Playing with friends in front of a TV is just as good as playing with them in person, or better because they can stay connected for longer periods of time. These are the children that are growing up surrounded by questions of should anyone teach them handwriting anymore, or just stay with keyboarding. They are the generation of digital books where Nook and Kindle make up for their bookcase in their room. They are the children who seem to accept authority better than in past years where rebellion was represented by the flowered shirt and the long hair apparel. These will be the children that will have to learn the value of flexibility and adaptability because the world around them is temporary.
Sir Ken Robinson mentioned in his book â€śOut of Our Mindsâ€ť that â€śOur schools have a doubly hard task, not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.â€ť
How can that not be when we live in a world where change happens with the blink of an eye?
Have you ever thought what cultural generational type of teacher you are?
Iâ€™ll share more in our next blog meet up!