Page 22 - Volume 6 - Issue 1 - DBU Journal for K-12 Educational Leadership

20 Andrea Chevalier, EdD many parents began to realize that their children were affected by the secular education they were receiving (Fremont, n.d., paras. 23-24). The Christian school movement was then rebirthed, and this led to a steady growth of the number of Christian schools that are still in existence today (ACSI, n.d., para. 20). The three generations working in Christian schools today are the Baby Boomers (1943-1964), Generation Xers (1965–1981), and the Millennials (1982–2000). Each of these generational cohorts have common characteristics based on the unique life experiences they had during their formative years (Hansen & Leuty, 2012, p. 35). Baby Boomer Generation The Baby Boomer generation was born between 1943-1964 and tends to be optimistic, team-oriented, service-oriented, interested in personal gratification, and concerned with preserving relationships (Abrams & Frank, 2014, pp. 8-9). Because of the size of this population, they have often been forced to compete for resources and opportunities (Hansen & Leuty, 2012, p. 35). Because there were so many children born during this generation, they had to learn to collaborate and work in teams (Zemke et al., 2013, pp. 63-65). On the job, Baby Boomers value relationships, want to hear about professional development opportunities and what they can accomplish at their workplace, and have a strong desire to prove themselves (Zemke et al., 2013, pp. 76-77). Generation X Generation Xers were born between 1965-1981. Because they were born during a time that was less prosperous, the people in this generation tend to be cynical, self-reliant, informal, casual, and direct (Zemke et al., 2013, p. 96). Because their generation is smaller, they see each other as comrades rather than competitors. They tend to seek out close relationships to build support and community in their friendship relationships (Abrams & Frank, 2014, p. 10). They also want balance because they watched their parents work long hours with little work/life balance (Zemke et al., 2013, pp. 94-97). In the workplace, they want flexible hours, an informal work environment, freedom to get their work done, and they enjoy challenges since they have a survival mentality (Zemke et al., 2013, pp. 107-109). Millennial Generation The Millennial generation was born between 1982-2000. Millennials are assertive, accustomed to praise, confident, and self-satisfied. They grew up during a time when everything was structured and supervised (Abrams & Frank, 2014, p. 10). Since they were exposed to rapid social change, they are more progressive, globally minded, highly comfortable with continuous change, and tend to be open to diverse views. They enjoy using their team-oriented spirit to work together to perform community service and do good deeds. Millennials thrive when the workplace is collaborative, the impact of their work is highly favored, and they are learning and gaining experience (Zemke et al., 2013, pp. 130-134). Research Design The current study used a mixed method instrumental case study to explore how to support teachers from multiple generations in a single University Model school, hereafter referred to as the School. This design allowed the researcher to collect different types of data so that the final conclusions were stronger (Butin, 2010). For the quantitative part of the current study, historical data was secured from a 2020-2021 survey developed by the School that was given to the teachers to help the school board gauge the school climate from the teachers’ perspectives. Descriptive statistics were applied to describe and summarize the data. The qualitative part of the design included a case study approach with semi-structured, open-ended interviews. An email was sent out to all of the teachers at the School requesting interviews, and the first five responders from each generation were chosen. The interviews were then conducted and member checked by the interviewees. The interviews were then uploaded into Dedoose where they were coded and analyzed for common themes. The yearly goal sheets for each teacher were also examined. Summary of Finding and Interpretation of Results After analyzing all of the data, three common themes emerged that all three generations described as supportive leadership behaviors. These themes can be seen in Figure 1.