New Year, New Perspectives, New Beginnings

WSD Innovative Teaching and Learning Leaders…

We hope your year is off to a good start and that innovative teaching and learning is thriving in your buildings!  As the ITLL project continues we want to hear about the types of programs, practices and initiatives you are doing with your students, including the successes, the missteps and your reflections along the way.  We encourage you to continue to post on your ITLL Digital Portfolio so we can all share in the exciting things you are doing with learners in your schools. Be sure to Tweet out your post using #winnnipegsditll if you are on Twitter.

Here’s suggestion if you are struggling for something to post about:

Write about a Ted Talk or video that inspires you.  Embed the video in your post. Discuss why you found it powerful and what resonated about it for you. For an example, see the post below reflecting on Simon Sinek‘s Millennials in the Workplace written by Gerald Fussell, a BC educator.

Thoughts on Teaching Millennials

by Gerald Fussell

In a recent episode of Inside Quest, Simon Sinek, a visionary thinker and consultant in the area of leadership, spoke about  the plight of Millennials in the workplace which accelerated my thinking about what we as educators are doing to prepare our Millennials for this future.  Millennials are generally referred to as those becoming adults in the 21st Century.  Essentially, Sinek identifies three key things that are working against Millennials.  Their parenting told them that they were special all the time and that they could have anything they wanted – their parents also made sure this happened.  Ultimately, this has lead to low self-esteem.  Technology has numbed them and prevented them from having deep, meaningful connections.  The proliferation of social media is built upon the release of dopamine, the same feel good hormone released by drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex.  Therefore, it is no surprise that people have addictions to social media and other uses of technology.  Finally, they have been raised in an immediate gratification world which is totally inconsistent with creating job satisfaction and meaningful relationships.  I am not doing the 15-minute segment justice here by superficially grabbing the highlights, and I highly recommend you watch the original piece – Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace; however, these takeaways are important when framing our work.

As a teacher my focus has always been about meeting the needs of our youth wherever they are at.  In viewing Mr. Sinek’s piece, I was struck by how succinctly he brought together the many challenges and dichotomies we have in public education.  Ultimately, he draws the links from his observations to several conclusions.  The combination of low self-esteem caused by artificial aggrandizing with the numbing effects of social media and a culture of immediate gratification, has created a destructive cocktail that manifests itself as minimal coping strategies to manage stress thus increasing depression and anxiety.  We see this daily.  So, how do we address this and how do we help our students to thrive despite these challenges?

(To read the rest, check out Gerald’s original post on his blog entitled “Why Not?”) and be sure to leave a comment.

We look forward to reading your posts!


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