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Monday, November 16, 2009

Gen Y, Generation Next, The Net Generation

I am not a big fan of generalizing about an entire generation. It feels too much like racial or linguistic profiling which may have its uses for the FBI, CIA, and NSA, but is relatively useless when it comes to one on one relationships.

Of course I wouldn't be telling you that I hated it if I hadn't recently decided that there is something to it. I am a member of Generation X, the Dazed and Confused Slackers that stumbled around lost and convinced that Reality Bites. I never thought that any of this applied to me. It never did. I thought most of these people were whiny little babies.

So when it comes to generational generalizations I am often suspect, but I have recently met a couple of people that fit the stereotype. A pervasive sense of entitlement leads them to believe that they deserve trophies for just showing up.

I don't want to sound old, mainly because I am feeling it, but these young people today need to learn their place. In order to get your voice heard you need to earn the respect of those that you want to listen. However, they will walk into meetings with a belief that the system is broken and that anyone that has been there for a while is the cause.

This horribly myopic considering that all systems that have ever been devised by humans are broken from the outset. Systems, like writing, must be constantly revised. Rarely do they need to be dismantled and its leaders deposed.

I have been working on technology committees for different schools for the last 15 years. I have been pushing for the use of technology in the classroom. I have trained other teachers. I have pieced together labs out of discarded Macs and Pcs. So when a noob shows up to his first meeting and starts talking about all of the problems how can I not feel personally attacked.

If you want to get something done, the shut up and get to work, but whatever you do don't whine and don't expect a trophy.

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