Vol.#33: A Fresh Year, A Fresh Perspective

Image Credit: Pixabay user JamesDeMers

A new school year is budding: I teach in a multi-track year round school, and our students’ first day of school is tomorrow.  We both have wonderful staff members returning and are welcoming a large number of new staff members to our building. The faculty kick-off last week was truly exciting.

We have a very large staff, and we learned from a clicker session by our media specialist that we are almost exactly divided into thirds between Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y.

We viewed some funny & informative clips from speakers on generations in the workplace like Jason Dorsey and Cam Marlston like this and this, as well as looked at other information. Teachers were asked to reflect and discuss which parts pertained to them and which did not.  It all led to a really rich discussion of our staff, the strengths of each generation, and led to what it means in terms of technology and instruction.

We then shifted focus from who we are …to who we teach. 

My principal had requested I prepare something for this part of our staff kick off. I started with showing a 52 second video from Amy Lynch on the Generation Z brain linked here. I highly recommend it.

Then, we watched the following video I’d created about the specific Generation Z students who are rising 6th graders. My goal was to provide some perspective on the students entering middle school for the upcoming 2013-14 school year.

Teachers, principals, and other interested stake holders should feel free to show to this video to their school staff, students’ parents, etc.

It can also be viewed here: http://youtu.be/WHRTPBhv_UA

Did you have any “a-ha” moments when viewing it? Is there another fact that should be included? Let me know in the comments!


2 thoughts on “Vol.#33: A Fresh Year, A Fresh Perspective”

  1. Great work, Erica! Your video is poignant and a great reminder for all teachers. What do you see as the biggest differences in the way the different generations teach?


    1. Interesting question, Paul. I think teachers are mostly like any of the other professionals in that we reflect this same research. That other information we discussed explains the differences in everything from what messages motivate, to how work is approached, to how different generations prefer to communicate. For example, I know in my own experience I found Cam Marston’s description of Generation X…

      Specifically, here @ 10:30-14:15

      …has been dead-on with regards to having meetings, with both myself and my principal. My current experience with a Generation X principal has been he is much more comfortable without having lots of meetings, completing things virtually, etc. He even “flips faculty meetings.” While this is okay with me, what Mr. Marston says in that segment seems to be true for some, especially for some Baby Boomers in my school. Also, I’ve been on an interdiciplneary team of all fellow-Generation Xers, but now am with Baby Boomers, and in my experience the expectation for both having meetings and communication on each team very much fit the description of typical generational differences. These are just a few examples from my own experience, however.

      It’s easy to say a large difference is also in the technology, which is also listed. And certainly, this is somewhat true. However, we do have Baby Boomers utilizing technology and even flipping instruction at my school. Our staff discussed Jason Dorsey’s assertion that “Gen Y is not tech savvy, what we are is tech dependent.” As he also says, “…a generation is not a box that everyone fits neatly inside, but a powerful clue to how people interact.” This interaction includes bosses, co-workers, and clients…which in our case are parents & students.


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