Workplaces That Support High-Performing Teaching and Learning: Insights from Generation Y Teachers
A joint production of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR), this report compiles data from eleven previous surveys, seven focus groups, and three case studies to gauge how Generation Y teachers—those born between 1977 and 1989—view their profession. Overall, it paints Gen Y teachers as optimistic and progressive, concluding that they crave more feedback on their effectiveness, more peer sharing and learning, recognition and rewards for strong performance, meaningful evaluation systems, and technology in the classrooms. Interestingly for an AFT publication, it paints these young teachers as more reform-minded than they probably are. For example, the study cites the Retaining Teacher Talent survey and reports that near 61 percent of Gen Y teachers think stellar colleagues should be rewarded. But it fails to showcase another finding from the same survey: Sixty-seven percent of Gen Yers would themselves prefer a school with a guaranteed annual raise of 3 percent and no opportunity for merit pay, as opposed to a school with opportunities for merit pay but no set tenure and salary structure. At the end of the day, Gen Y teachers may well be slightly more reformy than their older colleagues, but it would be folly to think that reformers looking to tear down tenure and implement performance-based pay will find droves of allies in the younger generation of classroom practitioners.
Jane D. Coggshall, Ellen Behrstock-Sherratt, and Karen Drill, “Workplaces That Support High-Performing Teaching and Learning: Insights from Generation Y Teachers” (Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Teachers; Naperville, IL: American Institutes for Research, April 2011).
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