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5-Gen Leadership

5-Gen Leadership
Leading 5 Generations in Schools in the 2020s

November 2021 | 192 pages | Corwin

An unprecedented leadership challenge for school administrators

Today’s school leaders face the unprecedented challenge of leading five generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and brand-new Generation Z teachers, along with Gen Alpha, today’s youngest students. Based on extensive research and the author’s experience working with thousands of educators and students, 5-Gen Leadership addresses the nuances and expectations implicit with leading each generation. With an emphasis on developing a multi-generational lens through which to view school improvement, this book covers topics such as recruiting and retaining today’s young teachers, tailoring professional development for each generation, and helping each generation succeed in a complex, accelerating world. Readers will also find:

  • Tactics for transitioning to 5-Gen Leadership and understanding the four distinct generations in the teaching staff
  • Moving leadership styles from a managing model to a coaching model
  • Advice for understanding and creating a welcoming environment for Gen Z and Gen Alpha
  • Suggestions for closing the digital generation gaps that emerged during the COVID-19 school closures
  • A glimpse into the future to imagine how new generations of leaders will help reshape schools by 2030

If we’re going to make the most of reforming our schools in the 2020s and keep up with the exponential rate of change in society we must understand today’s students and the four disparate generations in our staffs. This book is critical to help leaders bridge those gaps.

“How do we prepare today’s students for the rapidly changing workplace and society in which they will live, work, and interact in an education system designed for a century that has passed us by? In 5-Gen Leadership: Leading 5 Generations in Schools in the 2020s, Mark White clearly provides a well-lit path to assist educators to successfully make the necessary cultural, structural and instructional changes that are needed.”

-Bill Daggett, Founder
International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE)

Chapter 1: From Boomers to Alphas
Understanding the Four Generations in Staffs Today

Two Groups Are Trying to Lead and Two Groups Are Trying to Fit In. Sort of…

Recognizing the Digital Generation Gaps

Millennial Teachers Are Walking Away

Making Generational Adjustments

Trouble in the Gen Z Teaching Pipeline

Recruiting Gen Z Teachers

Take Steps Now to Become a 5-Gen Leader

And After We Recruit and Retain Them…

Chapter 2: The Impact of the Silent Generation and Gen Alpha
Lessons From the Silent Generation

Gen Alpha, the New Generation

Gen Alpha’s Impact on Education

The Transcendent Power of Relationships

Chapter 3: Moving From Managing to Coaching
The Challenge of Transitioning to a New Model

Millennials, Gen Z’ers, and Gen Alphas: Handle With Care

Coaching Into Grit and Professionalism

Rethinking Evaluations

New Channels for Communication

Chapter 4: Teaching Distracted Generations
Our Evolving Brains

Distracted Students, Distracted Teachers

Clues in the News

Chapter 5: Tactics for Creating Multi-Generational PD
Acknowledging the PD Problem

A Global Leadership Question: “How Do We Train These Different Generations?”

Relevancy in PD

Finding the Generations in the Staff

Mind the Gap

Presentation Methods for Teacher Z

Chapter 6 Generational Lessons of COVID-19
Gen Z and Gen Alpha: The New Lost Generations?

The New Digital Divide

A Flipping of the Paradigm

Adjusting Mindsets

Advice for Changing Mindsets

The Digital Gap in Administrators

Chapter 7: Upagers and Political Activism
Gen Z Survivors Leading the Way on Gun Reform

Gen Z Leading the Way in the Pursuit of Racial Justice

Lessons From a University Protest

The Coming of the Minority Majority

The Need for Systemic Reform

New Lyrics for Global Generations

Chapter 8: Millennials and Gen Z Ascending in the 2020s
Four Key Points and Questions for the 2020s

The University Model Could Affect the PreK-12 Model

New Paths to Leadership

The Future: Millennial Teachers, Gen Z Teachers, and AI Teachers?

Being Human in the 2020s


Here is a publication that celebrates the different generations that schools now have teaching in and attending them. It offers practical tips to include the skills of all the generations to offer the best teaching and learning for everyone.

Joy Rose, Retired High School Principal, Westerville City Schools
Westerville City Schools

Where you stand depends sometimes on where you sit. And where you sit is often influenced by how and when you grew up. Mark’s analysis and unique understanding of the impact and needs necessary for today’s leaders to work with different generations is timely, relevant, and revealing. One size rarely fits all.

Jim Mahoney
Former CEO of Battelle for Kids

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ISBN: 9781071837023

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