“Do What I Do”: A Paradigm Shift in Teaching and Instructional Methodology for Millennials

Dharani Bharat
3 min readJul 17, 2023


The phrase “Do What I Say” has been a traditional approach used by teachers and adults to instruct and guide millennials. It implies a one-way communication, where authority figures dictate tasks, rules, and expectations. However, in today’s rapidly evolving world, where millennials possess unique characteristics and learning preferences, it is essential for teachers and adults to reframe their approach. Instead of relying solely on verbal commands, the concept of “Do What I Do” emerges as a powerful and effective method to foster a paradigm shift in teaching and instructional methodology. This essay explores the idea of “Do What I Do” and its potential benefits in engaging and educating millennials.

Building Trust and Respect:

“Do What I Do” places teachers and adults in a role model position, leading by example rather than dictating from above. When educators demonstrate the behaviour they expect from their students, they build trust and respect. Millennials are more likely to follow instructions when they see their mentors practicing what they preach. By showing commitment to the same standards they advocate, teachers create an authentic and meaningful learning environment.

Encouraging Active Learning:

Millennials thrive on experiential learning. Rather than passively receiving information, they engage better when they actively participate in the learning process. The “Do What I Do” approach encourages educators to demonstrate concepts and skills, inviting students to replicate and apply the knowledge in practical situations. This fosters a deeper understanding and retention of information, as students learn through observation, emulation, and hands-on experience.

Nurturing Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills:

“Do What I Do” not only involves showing the right way to do things but also provides an opportunity to navigate challenges and mistakes. When teachers model the process of critical thinking and problem-solving, millennials learn how to approach difficulties with a growth mindset. They understand that learning is an iterative process, and failure is a stepping stone to improvement. This nurtures resilience and adaptability, crucial skills in a rapidly changing world.

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence:

Millennials value empathy and emotional intelligence in their relationships. By adopting the “Do What I Do” approach, teachers demonstrate empathy, understanding, and compassion towards their students. This empathetic environment fosters a sense of belonging, making millennials more comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas. As a result, they become more receptive to feedback and constructive criticism, further enhancing their personal and academic growth.

Fostering Lifelong Learning:

“Do What I Do” goes beyond the confines of the classroom; it instills a culture of lifelong learning. When educators model a passion for learning and continuously seek opportunities for self-improvement, millennials are inspired to do the same. This culture of curiosity and self-driven learning extends beyond formal education, empowering millennials to be proactive and adaptable learners throughout their lives.


The concept of “Do What I Do” represents a significant departure from the traditional “Do What I Say” approach. By becoming role models and leading by example, teachers and adults can revolutionise the way millennials perceive education and authority. This student-centered approach fosters trust, active learning, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and a thirst for knowledge that transcends formal education.

As teachers and adults embrace the “Do What I Do” methodology, they not only prepare millennials for the challenges of the future but also create a more empathetic and understanding society. This paradigm shift in teaching and instructional methodology can bridge the gap between generations and empower millennials to become confident, compassionate, and competent individuals, capable of shaping a brighter and more inclusive world.