You wake up, check your phone and see notifications from twitter about the controversy surrounding Trump’s latest tweet bashing Kim Jong Un. Teachers at Terra Linda grew up during the Summer of Love or watching MTV music videos because they were born in different generations. The generation born in the years between 1946 and 1964 is known the Baby Boomer Generation, followed by Generation X, made up of those born from 1965 to 1981. After Generation X there are Millennials, born from 1982 to 1997. The students currently attending Terra Linda High School are made up of those born from 1999 to 2003, and are part of Generation Z—those born from 1998 to 2014. Though, they might be more appropriately called “Generation i,” because Generation Z is known to be addicted to the internet.
One of TL’s teachers, Mr. Fleming, was born in 1985, making him a Millennial. This generation grew up with little to no technology. Early computers and cell phones were just coming out. During his childhood, a few events that continue to stand out to him are the Rwandan Genocide, East Coast-West Rap, and the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair from the news. When asked if any of these events impacted his childhood, Mr. Fleming responded, “When we teach about something like the Holocaust, I may not have been affected personally. [But] in a way… in hearing about it, it did affect me.” These events did not necessarily affect him personally, however hearing of them made him want to make a change in the world. Mr. Fleming became a teacher so he could teach children to be the best individuals they could be.
Mrs. Nichols was born post-WWII making her a Baby Boomer. Growing up as a Baby Boomer, Ms. Nichols recalls key moments in the Civil Rights Movement protests, the Kennedy Assassination, Nixon’s impeachment, and Women’s Liberation Protests. In High School, she remembers her peers going out to protest, but she didn’t want to take part because she felt “it was her responsibility to stay in class and get an education.” Mrs. Nichols stated that Gen Z’ers have a lot more opportunities than she had at her age for every gender.
Gen X’er Mr. Coleman (1968) recalls a childhood of Cold War tensions, the Iran Contra scandal, and general concern for national safety. Today, Mr. Coleman has noticed many things regarding the different generations, for example, compared to Gen Z, Gen X was a lot more rebellious and had more freedom than kids currently do. He stated, “Parents [now] shelter their children more than children in the past,” from drugs and violence. On top of that, Mr. Coleman noticed in his classes that teenagers today need to be entertained quickly or they will lose interest.
Today, students have grown up with wars in the Middle East, Trump’s presidency, the aftermath of 9/11 and being the first generation to not be able to remember a time without social media. According to BuzzFeed, it is predicted that Gen Z will work the harder than Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials due in a part to growing up post 9/11. Also, Gen Z was the first generation to grow up with an African American president and same-sex marriage as a constitutional right—because of this, Gen Z is predicted to take social issues for granted. Over the past 72 years, generations have changed radically, but in the end, what a generation was stereotyped as doesn’t define those born in said generation.