There’s something great about being a teacher: it is having the ability t0 touch, influence, and shape a young stars’ life. It is having to deal with young people, whose minds cannot be compared to the young people of the past years. This is a huge opportunity that one gets with teaching; to know the mindset of the various species of young people.
Dealing with them is one way to keep oneself in the know. Learners and teachers of today are so different from those of yesterday. It is no longer an era where the teacher is looked at as an idol; whatever they said taken as the gospel truth. Today, learners challenge their teachers. If teachers do not keep checking themselves, they will create a disconnect with their students. Teachers can build connections by talking topics that their students are interested in, such as fashion, the latest technology, the excitement around learning how to drive, etc. Teachers do not have to exaggerate anything, just connect your experiences with those of today’s youth.
My Personal Experience in Building This Connection
During my first year as a French teacher in Africa, I decided to conduct my class entirely in French throughout the year. Even the instructions. However, I could not help but notice how perplexed my students looked. “How can we be that fluent?” they asked as well as “how do we speak without making so many mistakes?”. I had them talk in French about topics that mattered to them; whatever they wanted. The learners who originally had a terrible attitude became trusted me and came to me for consultation. After a while, we were both working towards one common goal; to speak French fluently as well as write it perfectly. This was because the material was now interesting to them and we built a personal connection. Oohs the tales of a young teacher.