From the Superintendent’s Desk:
“In a challenging situation, we must lead out of belief in the potential of the student. We pull out the best in them when we believe the best of them.” Tim Elmore
Over the past two weeks, I have been reading a book by Tim Elmore titled Marching Off the Map. It is a thought provoking and insightful book about igniting students to learn in a brand new world, the world of Generation Z. Certainly, we know that the post-Millennial generation is different. They multi-task on five screens. They experience FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. They live in a world that they never unplug from. Today, a teen’s attention span has dropped to six seconds if there is no engaging. Elmore continues to say that Generation Z can produce an “artificial maturity,” where they are over-exposed to information, yet under-exposed to real-life application. To them, Life is on demand.
As educators and parents, many of us still have a tendency to say, “Well in my day” as we try to motivate, educate, and prepare these young people for life. However, “My Day” is no longer applicable; technology has seen to that. I am very fond of stating that I grew up in Mayberry, but Mayberry no longer exists. Now, we, as parents and educators, have the task of leading these 21st century students, and to most of us, it feels like an adventure into unexplored lands. This new exploration is a difficult one, but we must respond. Elmore challenges us as the Generation Z mentors to decide if we will Sail or Surrender on this exploration and writes that we have three options:
1. Yell at the Wind-Become angry, withdraw, complain, and just survive.
2. Surrender to the Wind-Lose your resolve and give in to the culture’s whim.
3. Adjust the Sails-Use the current and wind to take students where they must go.
The time has come that we must bravely accept the challenge of Option 3. The future of our children depends on it.
“In a challenging situation, we must lead out of belief in the potential of the student. We pull out the best in them when we believe the best about them.” Andrew McPeak