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It’s estimated that half of the nation’s teachers will retire from their teaching jobs within the next 10 years, and approximately 2 million teachers are needed to fill the gap. The good news is that there are new teachers entering the workforce, most of whom are from the millennial generation.
The PEW Research Center defines millennials as those born between 1981 and 1997. With approximately 75.4 million millennials in the U.S., they have surpassed the baby boomers as America’s largest generation and now make up the majority of the workforce.*
While the outlook for teacher growth is promising, there is uneasiness among school district leadership about how to effectively lead and manage new millennial teachers. According to Gallup, only 6% of superintendents think their district understands the needs of millennials.†
In a recent study, Gallup found that millennials are more interested in work that fulfills a purpose rather than one that provides a paycheck, and they seek a job with more developmental opportunities than perks. Instead of a boss, they want someone to coach and partner with them to achieve their goals. They’re looking for continuous communication and feedback in place of annual reviews, and a workplace that builds on their strengths.†
Once school districts and leadership understand the millennial mind-set, it will be easier for them to adapt their teacher-hiring practices and guide millennials through the teaching experience. Here are four ways to prepare to lead the new teacher workforce:
School districts are well positioned to employ effective teachers as long as they’re prepared to lead the new group of millennial hires. Hiring teachers with an advanced degree, such as an MS in Education, is the first step. The next step is to create a millennial-friendly working environment that will encourage new teachers to positively impact their students and the community.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Education program with a variety of specializations. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
*Pew Research Center, Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation, on the Internet at www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/25/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers.
†Gallup, Managing Millennial Teachers: Major Challenge for Schools, on the Internet at www.gallup.com/businessjournal/195425/managing-millennial-teachers-major-challenge-schools.aspx.
‡Pew Research Center, Millennials On Track to Be the Most Educated Generation to Date, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/03/19/how-millennials-compare-with-their-grandparents/ft_millennials-education_031715.
§Walden University, Research Brief: Master’s Degrees and Teacher Effectiveness: New Evidence from State Assessments, on the internet at https://www.waldenu.edu/-/media/Walden/general-media/about-walden/colleges-and-schools/riley-college-of-education/educational-research/outcomes-research-broch-faqs-web-final.pdf?la=en
Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.
Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or www.alsde.edu to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.
Note to all Washington residents: This program is not intended to lead to teacher certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.