by Kenn W.
I have been doing a lot of reading about new teachers – i.e., Generation Y: those born between 1978 and 2000 (“What Gen Y Really Wants” in a July 2007 issue of Time or Wikipedia’s description of Gen Y) are just a few examples. Some of the characteristics that are cited about Generation Y (I know these are generationalizations, but are any of them true for you??):
- You want to be connected.
- You value the information you get off the Internet as more reliable than the information that you get from older adults.
- Your family is much more important than work.
- You won’t sacrifice a personal life for a professional one.
- You usually won’t go to trainings on weekends or at night.
- You prefer to have professional development training online.
- You like to multi-task while you do just about anything.
New teachers often get the most difficult students and/or the students from poverty. Because Generation Y individuals tend to be the new teachers, I’m very interested in your thinking and how you see the students of today and the help/support that’s offered to you.
- What do you bring that’s new to the teaching environment?
- What do you dislike about the current teaching environment?
I recently attended Avenue Q, a Broadway show about Generation Y, that had the song, “I wish I could go back to college.” The musical examined the issues of purpose, commitment and love. I found I was better able to understand my Gen Y son through this Broadway show, and it caused me to wonder how these characteristics are true for our Gen Y teachers.
So for the new teachers who are Generation Y … help me better understand your generation:
- What do you like about training?
- What do you dislike about training and staff development?
- How would you go about changing teaching and learning?
- What bothers you about Baby Boomers with whom you work?
Anyway … this Baby Boomer is listening – and trying to find out what will help make your job easier. What would you say?