The generational makeup of teachers across the country is increasingly shifting toward Millennials. Although opinions vary, most define Millennials as those born in the final decade of the 20th century. As more and more Millennials enter the teaching force, school administrators must figure out how to accommodate these digital-savvy teachers and their passion for innovation. Further, they must do so while integrating them among veteran teachers.
By enrolling in an online Master of Arts in Educational Administration program, students can examine this difficult-yet-important balancing act to position Millennial teachers for career success.
The Stigma of Teaching
One challenge that the education system must overcome to recruit the brightest and most effective new teachers is the stigma of mediocrity some associate with teaching careers. Millennials tend to be idealists and change agents. The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students is and should be an attractive prospect to the typical Millennial teacher.
However, Millennials are also ambitious and accustomed to the fast-paced digital age. Upward career movement in the teaching field is slow, at best. Building and retaining a vibrant teaching staff that includes veterans and Millennials alike will require incentivizing innovation and creating opportunities for professional development and career growth.
Provide Adequate Training and Mentorship
Just because Millennials are engaged learners does not mean they do not need clear guidelines, expectations, school-specific training and healthy evaluation. Much of this should come from school administrators, yet Millennial teachers can learn a lot about how a specific school community functions from veteran teacher mentors.
Schools can use mentorship programs to train new Millennial teachers. In addition, since some veteran teachers hesitate to embrace digital technologies, a collaborative and mutually appreciative relationship with Millennial teachers can bridge the technology gap. Consistent innovation is necessary to develop students’ digital literacy, which has become an integral component of successful learning.
Strengths of Millennial Teachers
Millennials have much to offer. Generally, they are willing to take risks to create better learning experiences for children of diverse backgrounds and abilities. Millennials are fluent in the social media platforms that their students use, which enables them to guide their students in using this technology appropriately.
The Millennial teaching force is also the most diverse generation of teachers yet, which is a positive development. It’s important that students see their ethnicities and backgrounds reflected in their teachers, and diversity among teachers introduces students to alternative perspectives.
Reaping Millennial Benefits
Taking full advantage of Millennials’ teaching strengths relies on clear administrative guidance and effective integration into existing pedagogy. Millennials can effect the most positive change under the guidance of veteran mentors, and they can collaborate with these senior colleagues to share what they know about digital literacy and technology in the classroom.
Those pursuing a master’s degree in educational administration can expect to study this new generation of millennial teachers in order to prepare them as the educational leaders of tomorrow.
Learn more about the CSUSM online MA in Education, Educational Administration program.
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