Managing the Generations

By Kerry L. Roberts and Pauline M. Sampson
Generational differences are common in schools; after all, for the most part students and their teachers have always come from different generations. We’d like to call attention to another kind of generational difference in districts: those among school board members, administrators, and teachers. 

For many reasons, including economics and changing demographics, many districts have three or even four generations working for it. We note this because people born in different generations see and perceive situations, values, and work differently, and they communicate differently. This is a broad generalization, of course, but the era in which you grow up does influence your outlook, philosophy, and work habits. 

Understanding generational differences can help school board members and superintendents lead more effectively. They can make the differences work to the advantage of the district and to improve student achievement. 

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