Mutual Mentoring Mends Generation Gaps

Damane-b120x148While the basic needs of students and fundamental principles of knowledge remain the same, we need to change the tools we use and the way we deliver this knowledge, says Bijal Damani in her latest Education Update column.

Students expect to feel connected and engaged within a community. They want to interact and collaborate in a personalized learning environment, constructed and managed by them. Such a teaching and learning approach calls for a change in the set of skills a teacher must possess in order to become an effective 21st century educator.

Mutual mentoring can help teachers refine their skills and bridge generation gaps, says Damani. Veteran teachers can mentor on content, classroom management, and other skills learned over the years; technology-proficient teachers can teach the tools students use in their daily life and how they might support lesson objectives; and students can suggest ways to make lessons more relavent to their world. One consideration Damani doesn’t mention but that is also important when working in multigenerational teams is avoiding stereotypes based on age; you might be surprised at what expertise people have to offer.

Do generation gaps affect teaching and learning at your school?