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The NEP Teacher: Teaching Gen Z & Gen Alpha


Anita Karwal 

Imagine that the year 2030 has just gone past, and we are getting a glimpse of what teaching and learning will be like in the fourth decade of this century.Gen Z (born between 1997-2012)has just completed foundational learning and is enrolled at various levels while Gen Alpha (born after 2012) is a recent entrant to school. Teachers of India in the 2030s, you willnot be replaced by technology. You will be a vibrant community having the following 11 characteristics.
You will be curriculum-literate: Curriculum is the means to achieve learning standards and includes everything from lesson plans, to timetables, competencies, content, pedagogy, assessment, subjects, skills, art, sports, etc.You will have an expert understanding of every aspect of the quality curriculum and will use it to achieve student learning outcomes.
You will use the mother tongue/regional language to deliver curriculum: You will treat all languages as equal and ensure the promotion of Indian languages in classrooms.
You will have student-centric joyful classrooms and focus on whole brain thinking: You understand that thelogical, linear, and analytical, type of skills of the left brain and the empathy, design, seeing the big-picture capabilities of the right brain need to be equally worked upon.  You will integrate art, sports, story-telling, skilling, computational thinking, scientific temperwith the rigour of the subject.You will adopt inquiry and projects based learning, design thinking, problem-solving, etc. which are self-directed. These areattributes that students will need in the future to succeed. The importance of student voice and choicewill be recognised in this manner.You will bring back the joy of learning to your classroom through innovative pedagogies.
You will help learn how to learn and co-learn: You no longer teach to the test. You no longer turn your back to the students and unabatedly continue to write on the blackboard or encourage rote-memorisation. Learning is no longer limited to the confines of a textbook, a traditional school day, a typical test, or a summative exam - thanks to the internet. You teach your students how to become effective learners and not just passive guzzlers of information. You use audios, videos, podcasts, graphic novels, internet, TV, radio, newspapers, story books, etc. as tools for learning. In the home, in the community, and in the world at large, you will co- learn alongside your students. You are a lifelong learner.
You will skill learners through experiences:Four crucial 21 st century learning skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication will need to be imbibed by each learner to thrive in tomorrow’s dynamic workplace. For this, you will integrate content and your strong subject knowledge with real life experiences to help learners cultivate the skills, attitudes, behaviour and literacies required for the future world. Students will study physics with philosophy, political science with music, mathematics with geography, etc. requiring you to be adept at exploring the inter-relationships and connections between subjects. Imagine how creative your profession will become! You will develop students as innovators and producers of knowledge: At a very early age, your students will have the skills and competencies to be able to search for information, make sense of it, sieve the facts from claims/opinions/falsities, consolidate and produce more knowledge to create a just, humanitarian and an equitable world. You will inspire them to innovate and co-create through your own proclivity for forward thinking, collaboration, flexibility, creativity and adaptability to everything new. 
You will help them learn new technologies and keep abreast yourself: You will be the one who first teaches the child how to use technology for fanning her curiosity and learning! And the hunger that you create will then become a lifelong yearning in the child and in you to learn newer and newer technologies.
You will nurture the ‘Jad se Jag tak’ (from the roots to the globe) connection: You will teach your students about our heritage, culture, traditions, practises, literature, languages, ‘lok vidya’ and at the same time you will shape them into global citizens. You will be the means of understanding their roles and responsibilitiesin society, and for instilling a sense of pride and respect for the nation.
You will lead by example: In all areas of the curriculum, whether it be physical fitness, or multilingualism, an appreciation of the arts, ethical behaviour, a sensitivity towards inclusion, diversity, or environment, you will be the change that you will want to see in your students. You will act as Guide and Mentor: Instead of trying to be a Harphanmaula and keeper of all information, teachers will guide, mentor, empower and support students to proceed in their own unique areas of interest. They will prepare them for the worst and capable of the best.
You will unhesitatingly and appropriately respond to shifts: You will continuously and readily respond to the economical, technological, and societal shifts that will happen at a breakneck pace. You will teach the learners to acquire competencies for jobs that are yet to be created, with the help of technologies that you have yet to learn, in a society that is constantly evolving, transforming and reshaping itself.        

—The Hawk