Issues to Consider: Discovering Your “Undergird”
The Net Geners will require you to change how you teach. In fact, you may have to move outside your comfort zone into a new zip code. You will experiment, continue to learn, and, above all else, take risks. A few issues that may be racing through your brain right now are addressed below.
1. If I change jobs, will the Net Geners still find me?
Considering their technological skills and resourcefulness, you bet! They will hunt you down like Jack Bauer on 24… OOPS! Wrong question. I misplaced the questions for this section. Oh, here they are.
WE NOW RESUME THIS SECTION ALREADY IN PROGRESS.
2. Where do I begin to change how I teach the Net Geners?
It’s like eating one of those dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. Once you forklift your filet of T-Rex off your grill, which is the size of Wyoming, where do you take your first bite? It’s a tough decision.
Begin with the students’ survey. It’s easy to administer and it will provide buckets of information on what’s going on in their world. The results might also suggest TV programs, music, videos, or games you might want to pursue.
3. How do I identify my own gifts related to the teaching techniques?
Ask yourself a few questions in a quiet, hidden place, where no one will hear you, such as a closet, garage, attic, or woodshed: Does humor come naturally to me in the classroom? Do the students laugh at my jokes? Can I sing or play a musical instrument? Do I have any acting abilities? Do I like to play popular TV games or video games? Am I spontaneous or super-structured in class? Am I actually asking these questions in the closet in the dark? What’s wrong with me?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you’re in trouble! Kidding. Those “yeses” indicate areas you should consider. Check out the resources available on humor, music, videos, games, and improvisation. Start slowly with any techniques with which you feel comfortable. Add others gradually as you gain confidence from your students’ reactions. If you have special talents, find ways to incorporate them.
Will I appear silly, undignified, or unprofessional using these techniques?
Sure, but that’s okay. NO! Remember that you are using techniques that YOU pick and that fit your style and talents. Plus, the work is in the preparation; the execution in class may last 30 seconds. These are systematic techniques measuring specific learning outcomes.