How Gen Z Teachers are Shaking Up the Classroom

December 15, 2021 | Joanna York

As Gen Z teachers are entering the workforce, they are already shaking up the world of Education.

With their unique and various skillsets, younger teachers are able to bring fresh perspectives to the classroom and connect with their students in new ways. 

The fact is, teaching can be an incredibly rewarding career path, allowing you to develop people and organization skills, public speaking, creativity and so much more.

Even if you are not currently certified as a teacher, perhaps it’s something that you have been thinking about.

Don’t get caught up worrying about your existing professional experience, as this is something that will grow with time! 

All generations have something valuable to contribute and share, and right now we want to share why Gen Z teachings are so important for the classroom. 

Here are 5 attributes that the new generation of teachers will bring to the classroom:

  1. Digital savviness
  2. Inclusivity
  3. Mental health understanding
  4. Advocacy
  5. A great work ethic

1. Digital savviness

Gen Z is the first generation to grow up in a world that is fully online, and with this comes a unique know-how. 

While this knowledge might not feel like a skill because it comes so naturally, Gen Z teachers are using it to integrate tech into the classroom in efficient and creative ways that might not be on their colleagues’ radars. 

Trends like gamified learning, via apps like Class Dojo, or online tools to help give instant feedback are second nature to Gen Z. 

And some are even using tech for professional development either via Tiktok hashtags (like #genzteachers) or by filming lessons and asking more senior colleagues for feedback. 

This tech-positive perspective is something that helps create a natural understanding with learners, as many Gen Z teachers may also be teaching classes full of Gen Z learners from the younger end of the same generation. 

2. Inclusivity

Many studies have found that diversity and inclusion are top priorities for Gen Z candidates entering the workforce.

There are many advantages for schools that hire a diverse workforce, and hiring teachers that prioritize diversity and inclusion in their work can also bring some advantages.

These teachers are at the forefront of emerging priorities in the classroom such as:

  1. Cultural awareness: acknowledging different points of view and lived experiences.
  2. Social and emotional learning: using the school environment to develop crucial interpersonal skills.
  3. Inclusive learning: making sure all students are engaged and supported at school.

This naturally creates a positive atmosphere for students to learn in, but it also opens the door for more collaborative styles of classroom management that are highly interactive and welcoming of student ideas. 

Gen Z teachers are at the forefront of this wave.

3. Mental health understanding

Another thing Gen Z has grown up with is a society that is increasingly aware of mental health issues. 

As a generation, studies suggest that this makes Gen Z more open to talking about mental health issues and less likely to feel negative stigma around doing so.

This non-judgmental attitude can be a huge asset in the classroom. 

Mental health plays a vital role in a student’s ability to learn well and make connections with others. 

An aware and empathetic teacher could make all the difference in supporting a student who is struggling with their own mental health. 

This is especially the case if the teacher has some understanding of the specific generational pressures that students may be facing.

Gen Z teachers can bring unique understanding through the lived experience of emerging issues like the negative impact that excessive use of social media can have on their students.

Whether it’s through leading open conversations about mental health or fostering a supportive and safe environment, Gen Z teachers can lead the way in building a school culture that is conscious of mental health.  

Gen Z teachers can bring unique understanding through lived experience of emerging issues like the negative impact that excessive use of social media can have on their students.

4. Activism 

Schools might not spring to mind when we think of the front lines to social debate, but they can be a great place to discuss issues and solutions that are conducive to creating change.  

Students are often interested and engaged with the world around them, including the bigger issues. The school community can be a far-reaching and impactful body in its own right.

As Gen Z is known for its strong moral compass and willingness to speak out on issues that are important to them, even at work, working as a teacher could mean a real chance to make a social impact and encourage change. 

This could include challenging the curriculum, advocating for a more diverse range of books to be read, or implementing eco-friendly practices like a school-wide recycling scheme or communal kitchen garden.

For members of Gen Z just entering the workforce, teaching itself can be a way to change the world for the better. 

Whether your priorities are building a strong positive community in your local area or educating younger generations about climate change, who knows? 

Working as an educator could be your pathway to changing the world. 

5. A great work ethic 

Many of the professional traits that are associated with the best teachers are things Gen Z already has in spades.

Qualities such as being purpose-driven, independent, and proactive workers fit right into the mold for how teachers work in schools.  

For many Gen Z, learning and developing at work is also important. 

As a teacher, the ability to improve through regular feedback is something that is built into the school community, while there are plenty of opportunities for self-led professional development, too.

Plus, working in a school can provide qualities that many Gen Z are looking for in their jobs, such as security and stability. 

The teachers of tomorrow

As with all generations, each member of Gen Z is unique and generalizations about the whole age group can’t be made.  

Being a member of Gen Z means that many of the characteristics that apply to your generation could make you a fantastic teacher, but as an individual, you will have so many other unique qualities that you bring to the table. 

These are qualities that are uniquely yours.  

And so, are you curious about becoming a teacher? 

Learn more about how to get state certified to teach, even if you don’t have a bachelor’s in Education. 

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