Teaching Students Who Are Much Younger Than You: Four Considerations

As I prepared to teach my first-year orientation class this fall, I realized that I am 44 years older than my youngest students. Our window of shared experiences is small. They’ve always had iPhones and been able to text and use Instagram, and most are familiar with Google Classroom. They don’t know that Springsteen is “The Boss,” haven’t heard of Roy Rogers, and never waited excitedly for Saturday morning cartoons. Gen Z or iGen students, as we’ve named them, are now taking our classes. Here are four goals I have for my work with the bright, energetic young people who show up in my courses.

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