Millennial Teachers in Canada: Why the Youngest Generation of Canadian Professionals Leave Teaching
Committee MemberJacobsen, Michele
Education--Adult and Continuing
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AbstractNearly half of Alberta's early-career teachers left the profession within only five years in the classroom. The youngest generation of teachers entering the workplace are the millennials. While sectors outside of education had begun to address generational differences and needs of their millennial employees, the education sector had not. The two main research questions addressed in this study were: (1) Why do Canadian millennial teachers leave K-12 schools? (2) What helps Canadian millennial teachers want to stay in K-12 schools? This qualitative case study explored the perceptions of 13 teacher participants about their choice to either stay or leave teaching. Nine participants, belonged to the millennial generation, while the other four were from pre-millennial generations. While the exploration of generational differences among teachers called for further research, the six findings from this study were as follows: (1) All of the participant former teachers had a different field of interest initially going into post-secondary education and all of the participant current teachers entered post-secondary studies with the goal of becoming K-12 teachers, (2) Overwhelming majority of the participant millennial former teachers expressed unpleasant practicum experiences during their Bachelor of Education programs while all of the participant millennial current teachers expressed positive practicum experiences, (3) No connection was found between participants' negative work relationships and teacher attrition, and work overload was not an issue, (4) All of the millennial participants disapproved of a standardized approach to classroom teaching, (5) All of the participant millennial teachers indicated that teacher personalities influenced how teachers felt about the profession, (6) While participants of pre-millennial generations believed younger teachers were more enthusiastic, all of the millennial participants believed age made no difference in teachers' levels of enthusiasm.
Werklund School of Education