Monday, 26 November 2018 12:44

Becoming a Teacher in the Millennial Era

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Being a teacher is not just a profession. It is a call of the heart in carrying out the mandate. Because the teacher is a role model for the community. In Javanese jargon -‘digugu’,  this means that words of teacher must be followed or emulated. A teacher is always followed. This means that his or her words must be role models. Therefore, a teacher must have strong authority and sufficient insight. Whatever he or she says will be considered true by both students and the surrounding community. The spirit and character of a teacher must be emulated. Being a teacher, especially nowadays has its own challenges. With the rapid development of information technology, teachers face students: Y or millennial generation born over the 1980s to 1997, and generation Z born after 1997, which refers to the internet generation. Today, schools are places of teaching and learning environments that bring together two different generations. They are teachers from Generation X, who were born between 1965 and 1980, and millennial students and Generation X, who were born in the internet era. This meeting between different generations, if not addressed carefully, will certainly create various misunderstandings. Many teachers have minimal ability in the field of technology. Their way of thinking is often considered to be less rapid in responding to the pace of information and technology development compared with their students who are familiar with technological developments. Such teachers will probably become boring ones. Even, they may hamper the growth of students' potential. Students in the millennial era are often accused of being spoiled, having low learning motivation, and spending too much time in front of television, computers or smartphones. They are claimed as a generation of being confused, unstable and inconsistent because they do not feel at home in one place for a long time. To overcome this, teachers or schools must be creative in finding a comfortable and interesting learning atmosphere. Millennial and X generation students are different from the previous generation who had to sit from morning to afternoon in the classrooms. As a generation that is familiar with the digital world, they have information in their hands through smart phones. This means that learning opportunities do not have to be in the classrooms. They can access information anywhere and anytime. What is needed from teachers is proportional supervision because they remain humans who need feedback, attention and appreciation from teachers and parents. The teachers also no longer always act as a 'boss' who gives orders that must be obeyed. Millennial students need caring teacher figures, love to discuss and provide guidance in two-way communication and do not give superior advice. Above all, teachers’ competence must be improved, especially in mastering information technology so that their knowledge increases. This will, of course, have an impact on improving the quality of education.

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