Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Carleton R. Holt

Committee Member

Janet Penner-Williams

Second Committee Member

Ian M. Mette

Keywords

Education; Gen y; Leadership; Millennial teacher expectations; Millennial teacher motivators; Millennials; Teacher retention

Abstract

Just like the childhood game of Hide and Seek, “Ready or not, here they come,” numbering 92 million strong, the Millennial Generation is the largest generational cohort in history. By 2025, it is predicted they will comprise 75% of the workforce. Millennials are highly educated, willing to learn, technologically advanced, and Socially conscious—all traits important for the making of a great teacher. The purpose of my study is to understand the mindset of six beginning Millennial teachers regarding teaching as their career of choice and how this mindset impacts their decision to remain committed to teaching. This study attempts to analyze beginning Millennial teachers’ experiences teaching in a public school. Six Millennial teachers and six building level administrators from one urban Southwest Missouri school district participated in this study. Data were collected, analyzed and coded to reveal six axial codes from which three main theories emerged: (1) Millennial teacher persona, (2) career commitment, and (3) relationships with leaders. While public education has changed instruction to prepare students for the 21st century, many educational leaders are still using the same leadership practices to recruit, hire, and retain teachers of years’ past. It will behoove school leaders to understand this generation’s values and motivators in order to capitalize on their strengths and establish an organizational climate where teachers and students will thrive. My study will provide school leaders insight into the mindset of beginning Millennial teachers.