TEACHER CORNER | The Challenges of a Mathematics Teacher to Millennial Learners

By Marissa D. Chavez
San Fernando National HS

Many teachers complain that it is difficult to teach millennials. Perhaps it is the way they embrace technology in a way that their predecessors did not. Perhaps it is in the way they demand information at lightning speed. Or perhaps it is in the way their attention seems to be fleeting at a rate much faster than previous generations.

As an educator of one of the most dreaded subjects—Mathematics—I see teaching millennials as a challenge and an opportunity. It is merely a test of my teaching skills and my nurturing capabilities. As a teacher, I adapt to their needs so that learning is meaningful and enjoyable.

On the other hand, I think it is fair for me to also challenge my learners not by fighting against the learning abilities that are common among members of their generation, but by harnessing them and exploring their full potential.

I challenge my millennial learners to keep up with the demands of a rapidly-changing environment. Affected by political division, cultural issues, as well as a changing climate, the world they find themselves in is far different from the ones my generation experienced. They must, therefore, not only be flexible, but also responsive to these changes in society. When needed, they should alter their behaviors and way of thinking, in order to cope with these demands.

I also challenge my learners to be open to learning opportunities that are different from the ones they are accustomed to having. Millennials are said to love interactive learning, assignments that encourage free expression, and the use of technology to get their work done. My challenge to millennial learners is to consider other ways of learning that do not cater to their preference, but will be of great help in the way they learn new concepts and skills. I encourage them to give old-fashioned books a chance, as well as take a stab at assignments that are more technical than creative in nature.

Lastly, I challenge the millennial learners to change the negative perception of people about millennials as a lazy, entitled group. They can do this by striving to become more hardworking, and never taking their privileges for granted.

I believe teaching millennials is a great opportunity to make a difference in the community. I am thus grateful for this opportunity, and urge my fellow educators to be thankful as well. In the end, there is no better chance to shape the future of the world than to shape the minds of young learners.