Nearly all teachers agree that modern-day teaching poses more serious challenges than teaching a few decades ago. Technological interference, student-centered academic policies, heterogeneity of classes, and millennial learners’ behavioral issues, all constitute these challenges and new expectations in the contemporary academic landscape.
Inarguably, modern-day classroom teachers, hence the millennial teachers, are imperatively expected to be of remarkable pedagogical competence and performance. In addition, they must keep on track more critically of the students’ progress as far as the course taught is concerned. Hence, they must be better informed of the individual student’s needs and learning styles.
Getting to know students can be simple, but getting to know their individual differences can’t be. In fact, teachers can check in an instant students’ profiles and presume that some of them are good at some particular areas or are excelling with some special skills; however, it is only through a direct instructional encounter that millennial learners’ individual differences in various aspects can be totally gauged.
As teachers provide learning experiences, students’ individual capacities and inclinations are manifested, and thus, observed, assessed, and enhanced. In the same manner, learning flaws and inadequacies entail remediation. Thus, defining millennial learners does not just connote getting to know them by their names, their study buddies and friends, or their basic academic backgrounds.
On the part of the millennial teachers, determining individual differences usually starts on the first day of the classroom instruction. Some common facts about the class such as the students’ seating preferences, articulated individual expectations, existing peers and circles, and even displayed note-taking interests, must all be noted. Considering that the purpose is not instantaneous, it is important that even minor observations be regarded a part of.
As instructions progress, teachers must gradually establish the individual differences among students, and employ teaching strategies that cater to these differences. In doing so, there must also be some sort of adjustments; however, irrespective of strategies and styles, all students, at the end of the teaching instructions, as much as possible must have realized and met all the learning targets required in the curriculum. In other words, the learning level extremes or the range between the highest and lowest learning levels has been narrowed down.
As a millennial teacher, I believe that it is a must for all teachers to acknowledge individual student’s needs and learning styles, hence, determining individual learning paces.
In college, where motivation is not that given much importance as compared to primary and secondary levels and where classes are more diverse, instructors and professors usually allot some of their time for students’ consultations.
During these one-on-one encounters, students get to know more their instructors and professors, communicate their difficulties in the subject areas, receive pieces of advice, and make negotiations regarding some requirements.
Though in normal college instruction, instructors and professors, most of the time, cater to the whole class without giving so much attention to individual learners, consultations supplement the notion of knowing them. After all, most college students, particularly the freshmen, encounter problems with their adjustment from secondary to tertiary teaching approaches.