Month: November 2019

Planning for success in the multigenerational academic workplace

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At 11:00am on 11/12/19 at the Scott North Campus of Wake Technical Community College, I attended the Planning for success in the multigenerational academic workplace presented by Dr. Mark Taylor of Taylor Programs.

Today’s live and on-line classes can be a mix of students from at least three generational cohorts; more mature Baby Boomers, re-careering Generation Xers, and our traditionally aged, digital Generation NeXters. With wildly varying past experiences, academic expectations and learning goals, it can be challenging for faculty to offer each cohort their most effective learning environment and activities. This program describes the traits, learning preferences and needs of each group, and offers a model of instruction proven to help all learners be successful.

How do you get to be a member of a generational cohort: you’re born and raised in the certain time. Socialized with culturally influenced perspectives from the at time. its called pre-evaluative learning. Its called early “programming”. we cannot judge people based on the time of their raising. its not anyone’s fault they’re like they are.

Its not their fault to be that way, it is their opportunity to be the way they want to be.

Generational understanding is not a stereotype, it doesn’t describe everyone and may not describe you. It is just a starting place for understanding. How does those who are attracted to education fits the profile.

If the baby boom after world war 2 went on, this’d be robust. in the 60s and 70s people didnt have to have kids to be families, and women didn’t have to just be a housewife.

As boomers retire, the leadership positions will open up, but there are not enough generation X people to fill those spaces. Boomers and NeXt will get  along.

Traditionals like duty, discipline, sobriety, sacrifice, delay of gratification, thrift. They are not here to have a great time, they are here to do what they’re supposed to do.

Boomers go the other way. 75% had a mom at home. most kids outside playing. If you were in the house, “Go outside and play” was the mission statement. The center of the community moved from the church to the school. From belief to reason- from faith to reason and data. Choices are made from reason and data. Boomers are social, realational, talking just to talk to someone. WIll talk to someone who is not running away from them faster than they can run after them. Boomers are conflict averse, as they have befriended their co-workers. They are mission/Purpose people, moving to change the world. These ideals are blurring with life stages- they are getting less social, do not witsh to be troubled with people. It happens as you get older.

Gen X women were told having kids will mess you up. Women would not get hired if getting pregnant. Exorcist, firestarter, omen, damian, carrie, children of the corn, chucky. Kids were trouble. Growing up was interesting and challenging. 75% of Xers had latchkey houses. Xers want to work alone. They do best on their own, figure things out on their own through experimentation. They will often want to make changes, but want to do things on their own. They are skeptical, cautious. Why should I disclose intrusive questions. They are independent self-sufficient. More pragmatic, task oriented people. Tasks are more important than mission level work. Boomers work to change the world, Xers have to work somewhere. Xers make their children scared. THey are scrappy, tough, adaptable. You like the workplace, expecially heavy lifting. Blunt, direct communications. If you are less interested in relationships, you can be blunt, and relevance and efficiency are important. Culture moved from school to the mall. Commerce is important, what are people’s agenda? every interaction has a reason in their mind

Boomers are changing the world, Xers are a whole different drug. Dominating/independent, untrusting/independent are running most businesses together. Families became small baby-worshiping cults focused on the nuclear family. Women are being convinced to retire early and leave work-oriented to family-oriented is strong.

NeXt they are the wanted, precious, protected, perfected child. They are direct, demanding, don’t bother me style. They need direct criticism, just delicately. Child centric family. Most families 75% are really child-centric family. As parents, we are the problem.

Self-Esteem Parenting Model

People used to parent how they were parented. Since the Boomers, parenting is a reaction to the previous parents. Parents now parent like the parents they wanted to have. Helping kids feel good about themselves became the mission. Making them feeling good about themselves was more important than trying or actually doing. Less critical households bring lots of praise. They are less distant, more close and involved. Less hitting and more hugging are involved. Parents are seen less as authorities and more friends, they are in service to the kids. They are more like friends, and peers. As soon as you tell them they’re “good enough” they stop trying.

Disconnecting the praise/reward from talent/effort. Unwillingness to offer or allow critical/corrective feedback. Which can lead to: Them linking themselves and assuming they can do things they haven’t tried, overrating thier own skills, underrating necssary effort for success, entitlement for outcomes, sensitivity/defensiveness to criticism, externality, responsibility issues. These become apparent in the classroom and in the workplace.

NeXters are really great people

generally positive /confident/optimistic, usually very friendly, fewer family issues, like and admire their parents. They should be a rebellious, break with their parents, but there is really nothing to rebel against.

Often they will rebel against the non-objective measures. “why did you tell me I’m a good singer”. “I;m in college and its killing me! Why’d you do my homework in high school?”

They are expressive/direct/honest. They are enthusiastic. Are people cool or enthusiastic? Xers are cool, because they don’t want to give anything away. NeXters are super excited. They like to interact / very social and ready to interact with people who aren’t there via phone. Earlier generations didn’t have these methods, so we had to connect.

Culture has moved to the internet. Xers are upset that the internet is trying to sell you something. NeXters have come to expect it. NeXters are comfortable with and value diversity. NeXters expect to help the world through their work. How will success in your class help them change the world?

NeXter Expectations

  • General friendliness from everyone
  • Lots of JIT assistance
  • Concern for their well being
  • Options & Flexibility
  • Forgiveness expected rapidly
  • Lots of praise and thanks


  • realistic appraisals of their abilities
  • Engagement and motivations to increase time and effort
  • clear identification of the benefits and value of learning
  • clear message that learning and success are up to them.

Opening General Session: From Teaching to Learning: A Best Practices Instructional Model

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At 9:30am on 11/12/19 at the Scott North Campus of Wake Technical Community College, I attended the Opening General Session: From Teaching to Learning: A Best Practices Instructional Model presented by Dr. Mark Taylor of Taylor Programs.

Opening General Session: From Teaching to Learning: A Best Practices Instructional Model

Dr. Taylor is dedicated to helping faculty and staff better understand and improve their skills in working with students for learning, development, persistence and workplace readiness. While he makes his literature available and offer links to other resources, he feels he is most effective when offering programs and workshops at schools and conferences. He has visited community and technical colleges, universities, private and professional schools from Massachusetts to California, Minnesota to Texas, and in Canada, as well as presenting at conferences across the country and in Australia, Canada, Ireland and Denmark.

This workshop intends to help faculty understand and transition to a researched, informed, best practices model of teaching and learning designed to help students more effectively reach learning outcomes across a range of cognitive and affective domains, especially around higher order reasoning skills. Methods to increase student activity, engagement, investment, responsibility for their own learning and ownership of desired class outcomes will be discussed, described, and demonstrated. The focus on improving persistence and workplace readiness, as well as learning will be paramount to this presentation.

Our presentation will be a summation of a full-day presentation. It will be the best lecture on not giving lectures that we may ever hear. Milenials initial press was so wrong. Current Millenials are entitled and teaching is our responsibility while learning is not their responsibility.

The Generation NeXt writings have been very well received by people. They might be worth reading.

Many millenials graduates find that school is hard, and some need 8 months to sit and recover. Children who grow up being told they’re important only want to work for companies that say that they are important, and changing the world.

His latest pieces on pedagogy of milennial theories and practices constitute a single idea but was broken into 3 pieces to be effective.


What is Our Place?

Community college is required to the ecosystem of education. We are the statue of liberty of education: give us the poor, academically weak or unready, your first generation, your EFL & ESL… we will meet them and help them to achieve.

  1. Access to higher education
    1. open admissions / welcoming to all / affordable
    2. this place or no place
  2. High expectations / academic rigor
    1. comparable academic standards
    2. workplace readiness
  3. support / nurturing environment
    1. They need to hear it. They need to know it
    2. They need services that meet their needs
    3. Then need people who care about their needs

Colleges are structured to provide instructions. They should not be. They should be structured to bring about learning. we need to switch our thinking from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. Its less about us, and more about the students

College teaching is the strangest profession. We train people to do so many different tasks, but then we ask some of them to teach what they have learned. When hired, we’re often asked to “give us a show”. We do what we’re not trained to do. we do what teaching looked like when they were taught. Faculty people are folks of good will who want students to learn, and doing their best to bring about that learning.

We are not discussing what most classes do. MOst classes are an active teacher talking to a passive student. WHo does the work and learns the material? the faculty person. It is not a traditional “faith-based instruction”, but instead do what research tells us works.

If a doctor said: “You have the flu, and I’m gonna bleed ya!” we’d want to know if that’s really the most effective way to solve it. In higher ed, the most effective instruction is happening in Community colleges. Because we care and act passionately. lowest learning comes from research-based institutions, because best teachers are researching.

Most learning is just regurgitation. We need students who do more reasoning and less remembering.


“Whoever Does The Work, Does The Learning”

Teaching is not delivery or transfer. we cannot put learning in the head, but in fact we can only give it to students. We must direct, help, and motivate students to do the hard, cognitive work of their own learning. If improves responsibility, agency, efficacy.

Millenials feel its our job to teach them, and that its not their job to learn. Learning is their job. They develop the traits from recipient to active learner. From extrinsic learner to intrinsic learning.

vocational education is so skills based that youre probably putting the responsibility on the student already. However, the learning and knowledge portion should enjoy as much informative learning.

  • Learning based on student activity / Engagement. What work or activity did you do to come to class today?
  • Efforts to develop student investment.
  • Everything is in the service of higher level outcomes. I teach beyond the context of what you need to do a single skill
  • Learning should look like the outcome.
  • Non-negotiable compliance. Everybody plays, opting out is not a n option or choice. there are academic expectations.
  • Leverage a range of tools to keep learning active and up to date.

Some teachers say that teaching is not a priority. some classes are actively resisting new teaching and methods.


Pedagogy of Formation

takeaway knowledge information (remembering understanding)

skills should be improved or professional (apply, analyze, evaluate)

values should be achieved and held dear (producing quality protfolio-level work, self-worth, caring about these and willing to do this)


What the workplace wants

Looking at what workplaces want/need. You won’t see remember on here anywhere. Hart research for aacu 2016. All items wanted are higher order thinking.

  1. critical thinking and analytical reasonsing
  2. apply knolwedge and skill to real work provlems
  3. effective oral communication
  4. work effectively in teams
  5. communicate effectively in writing…


Why Best Practices?

  • lasting remembering.
  • skills development
  • reasoning evluation and critical thinking
  • increases student persistence
  • from static to growth mindset

NeXT Pedagogy for today’s learners

  1. improve students future orientation
    1. Don’t talk to students; talk to the professional they aspire to become
  2. identify class goals/link to students’ goals
    1. help student understand the why/benefits fo the course
    2. affective engagement/investments/motivation
    3. menu of benefits. Write what you want to do for a living. Find 3 items that are important to you. add 1 that isn’t on the list. Turn to your neighbor, find out what you agree on, and come to an agreement. They will talk themselves into valuing your class.
    4. Come to the understanding of cognizance dissonance. Activity in learning allows our students to value the course and believe more.
  3. improve student understanding of class expectations
    1. Teach each student how to be effective, self-responsive learning
  4. Move the learning out of class
    1. I cannot do the work for you, but I will help you to do the work and learn the skills so that you succeed.
    2. Any reading or remembering component can be moved out of the classroom. Any video can be created and given to students
    3. The easiest way to get started is to just get started.
  5. Create the necessity of preparing for and attending class
    1. student must prepare for my class
    2. students are mostly prepared
    3. students can succeed without preparation
    4. I check homework for completion

Ensuring preparation and attendance

Check student’s preparation before each class. Check materials at the door, give points for preparation.

Did you know WHAT to do? Are you ABLE to do it? are you WILLING to do what it takes to be successful?

Email absent students. Anything we can do to make you successful in the classroom?

When you get to class, get them working. Guide students to the hard work of their own learning. They need to actively learn, apply analyze and evaluate, and then cover affective worthy choices. Practice effectively, and demonstrate that activity and/or procedure. They will have more understanding, especially if they see how it will effect them in the future.

Faculty Association Breakfast and Business Meeting

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At 8:00am on 11/12/19 at the Scott North Campus of Wake Technical Community College, I attended the Faculty Association Breakfast and Business Meeting presented by Kim Atkinson, Faculty Senate President and Medical Office Administration instructor, and President-Elect Brad Swearingen Associate Professor of SGD. Co-presented by Debbie Manness and John Etheridge.

As a faculty senate member, I attended this meeting to keep abreast of the topics of current interest. I am recovering from my auto collision on 10/17 and sitting  through sessions with broken ribs may be an issue.

Faculty Association has been working on:

  • PD hours, reducing the yearly requirement from 30hrs to 20hrs mandatory.
  • Pay survey:  faculty association pay >> Posts >> see feedback there
  • Dr. Scott Ralls, President of Wake Tech Community College, came to the faculty association meeting to listen to concerns. Minutes will be posted soon
  • Calendar issues abound. Go to posts >?? calendar guidelines. This will be helpful to getting faculty on board.
  • Summer 2020 is published, and should be out to faculty soon
  • WE requested
    • Faculty calendar completed 1 year in advance to plan vacations. Faculty has no vacation
    • We requested to know who finalizes the calendar
    • improve accuracy of labeling the calendar.
    • 12 month faculty would like longer breaks in semesters
    • What is the clarification of the need of faculty after final exams. There is a hesitancy on the top level to give Deans the power to decide.
  • Please stay current on faculty association actions and pushes, cares and concerns.



Seats will be open in February. Seanate seats are given for 2-year terms. Open officer seats will be filled by senators with at least 1 term experience. Elections will be held in April with the results announced in may. Contact Lorri Wiliford with questions


Teaching and Learning Fund

Guidelines and applications are available on the faculty website. Deadline is April 1, 2020. It is mainly used for reimbursement of professional development.  Aisha Eskandari can be contacted if there are questions


Debbie and John: the NCCCFA Report

Debbie Manness, VP internal for the NCCCFA began with a solid message: Represent your department and division in the faculty senate. Encourage all faculty to visit, join, and take part. You can enjoy meetings via teams, etc. Debbie Manness has been a faculty association member for 20 years, and now she is a state level participant.

Faculty across the state are having trouble traveling. Our Wake Tech PD Conference is now open to any teacher with PD requests. This will be an ongoing PD Conference ability. The NCCCFA handouts are available, giving more opportunities and resources focused on teaching excellence and student success.


NCCCFA President’s Report

John Etheridge, President of the NCCCFA spoke with his report. There has been a large turnover since the NCCCFA was almost shut down last year. First few months were about getting people onboard and ensuring that the cart is back on the road, monetarily, administratively, etc.

We’d like to talk about efficient money use over time.

Faculty Salaries are not addressed into its “legislative priority”. It is up to the discretion of the college president how much you will get paid.

“What is the NCCCFA doing about salaries?” You are not a state employee, you are a college employee, and you will get paid based on the presidents choice. the 2019 workforce development legislative agenda has several bullet points (talking points). They are not currently addressed.

We would like lawmakers to ask the NCCCFA when addressing concerns for college faculties.

“What about Dues?” We’d like dues to be passed back to teachers through a reimbursement process similar to the faculty association’s current set. We’re also hoping to include monies for online PD availability to faculty across the state.

We can we do better, and how can faculty get involved?

First, get involved. We had a good reputation in the past, and we’d like to leverage that again. we’d like to gain visibility by being present in the legislature. We need folks in committees, we need people involved in the NCCCFA so that officer roles will get filled.

Get in touch with your legislator. They will listen to constituents over faceless organizations. Talk about what is going on in the college. School teachers have vast resources, with paid people who only work for better deals. The NCCCFA president has a single courses load reduction, and no other officers have any.

“Can we get a copy of the 2019 Workforce Legislative Agenda?” Yes, we’ll put it on the Faculty Association website.