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Generations at School

Generations at School
Building an Age-Friendly Learning Community

Edited by:

Foreword by Roland S. Barth

March 2014 | 160 pages | Corwin
Suzette Lovely and Austin G. Buffum explore ways to create and sustain a productive and synergetic environment in schools. By examining the generational underpinnings that bind colleagues together or set them apart, their text offers a variety of approaches to establish collaborative team structures, build capacity and bring out the best in people. The goal is to find common ground and cultivate cross-age learning communities that are improvement-driven.

As educational leaders become cognizant of the work orientation, team assimilation, and supervisory style that motivates each generation, they can promote collective responsibility in a more sensitive, relaxed climate. By appreciating the uniqueness of each staff member and creating conditions that support learning, these high quality leaders and their school districts serve as magnets for excellence.

Foreword by Roland S. Barth
Preface: The Demographic Divide
About the Authors
1. The Generations at Work in Schools
The Perfect Storm  
Who's Who? A Snapshot of Four Living Generations  
Roadmaps and Aspirations  
Conclusion: A Cause Celebre  
2. New Rules for the Sandbox
Coloring Within the Lines  
From School to Work  
The Birth of Organized Labor  
Trailblazers, Pioneers, and Indiana Jones  
The Neutral Zone  
That Was Then, This Is Now  
Conclusion: Let Go of the Quo  
3. Cross Age Connections in a Learning Community
Intergenerational Chemistry in a PLC  
Know Your Lineup  
A Case in Point  
Conclusion: Ageless Excellence  
4. Recruitment Renaissance: Give It to 'Em Their Way
Generational Forecasting  
Start Your Own Farm Team  
Who's on First?  
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!  
Be All That You Can Be  
Handle With Care  
Conclusion: Become First-Rate  
5. Creating Synergy in the Schoolhouse
The Demographic Gulch  
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go  
The Synergy Doctrine  
Diplomacy: New Word of the Day  
Connecting the Dots  
Conclusion: Not Too Young, Not Too Old  
6. Here Come the Millennials, Ready or Not!
Generational Recycling  
Bye-Bye, Breakfast Club  
A Special Lot  
Safety First!  
Oozing With Optimism  
Teamwork: Here, There, Everywhere  
Conventional Wisdom  
Under Pressure  
Achievers 'R' Us  
When Theory Meets Practice  
Conclusion: In Good Hands  
7. Meet the Parents
Fly-Overs and Swoop-Ins  
Lower the Drawbridge  
Outwit, Outlast, Outplay  
Mind Your Manners  
Different Worlds  
Does Your Complaint Policy Make the Grade?  
Conclusion: Let's Make a Deal  
Resource A: Attracting and Retaining High-Quality Leaders: District Inventory
Resource B: Snag the Best and Bypass the Rest: Behavioral-Based Interview Questions
Resource C: Partnership Teaching Contract Language
Resource D: Synergy Audit: How Generationally Friendly Is Your Workplace?
Resource E: Civility Board Policy

"An interesting, insightful, and uplifting read! Filled with practical suggestions and strategies to understand generational differences and build on shared interests and strengths while leveraging unique perspectives and motivations."

James Rickabaugh, Superintendent
Whitefish Bay School District, WI

"Baby boomer teachers are now the old guard. Generation X parents are demanding accountability and transparency. And a rising generation of Millennials is recasting the attitudes and behaviors of youth. The authors provide an excellent roadmap through this new landscape, drawing on concrete examples that will ring true with anyone who works in a school."

Neil Howe, Author, Generations and Millennials Rising
LifeCourse Associates

"Filled with creative ways to develop the capacity of a staff to work together as a professional learning community. The authors make a compelling case for recognizing the significant generational differences in play among most faculties and, more important, offer specific strategies for addressing those differences in ways that benefit teachers and students alike."

Richard P. DuFour, Educational Author and Consultant

"This is the essence of the book: understanding our generational differences, finding our generational commonalities, which ultimately will enable us to work together to make a difference for all students. The authors do an outstanding job of providing practical examples and strategies that can be easily implemented."

Middle Ground Magazine, February 2008, Vol. 11(3)
National Middle Schools Association

Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

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Suzette Lovely

Suzette Lovely is the deputy superintendent of personnel services for the Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County, CA. She has spent 24 years in public education as a teacher, assistant principal, elementary principal, and director of elementary operations. Lovely also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Chapman University, teaching courses in educational administration.Author of two previous books: Setting Leadership Priorities: What’s Necessary, What’s Nice and What’s Got to Go (Corwin Press, 2006) and Staffing the Principalship: Finding, Coaching and Mentoring School Leaders (ASCD, 2004), Lovely is also a staff writer for... More About Author

Austin G. Buffum

Austin G. Buffum is currently adjunct professor of educational leadership at Chapman University and California State University, Fullerton. He recently retired as the senior deputy superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District in South Orange County, CA. During his 34-year career, Buffum served as a music teacher and coordinator, elementary school principal, curriculum director, and assistant superintendent. Buffum was selected as the 2006 Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators. He has presented at scores of regional and national conferences and speaks... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412927284