Modern Elder?

I'm glad that I didn't miss my walk and coffee at the Seniors' Centre.

I am addicted to listening to podcasts. I really enjoy the modern equivalent of the "old-time radio show". I listen in the evening after my husband and I watch a Netflix production together. Personally,
I use my eyes a lot during the day and I prefer to limit my television screen time to two hours.

Last night, I listened to a presentation called In the Balance:Managing the Five Generation Workplace where Chuck Conley, a fifty-something, who had been hired by the very young founders of AIRBNB as a "modern elder", spoke about the different behaviours and tendencies of the generations in the workplace.

Now, I'm going out to the "parking lot garden".

As I have just returned to work on a part-time basis, my ears "perked up". I was born in 1952 (right in the middle of the baby boom. Most of the staff at the school where I am working are "generation X" or "millennial" based on their apparent ages. While I spent my "20's" as a young mother/student/wife
with a full-time worker/evening student/ husband, my youngest colleagues are unmarried professionals who are buying their first apartments. They are enthusiastic and energetic. They are comfortable with the Digital Age and they are eager to help.

The next group of staff, "generation x",  closer in age to my daughter, have long-established careers in the same school/district and are homeowners with children. As the "old new woman on the block", I am looking to create a role for myself.

I am working in an elementary school library so there is the additional youngest generation, the students.  I'm wondering, "How do I wish to be perceived?" I'm not really a "granny type." I have enough "digital savvy" to use online resources effectively and my French has improved since my retirement.We have a new curriculum in our province and supporting print resources (especially in French)
are almost nonexistent. Establishing budget and locating resources will be my first challenge.

This is an unexpected path for me at this time in my life. It is part-time and temporary (probably for the school year). Yesterday, the principal asked me if I would substitute on my days off. No! While I am happy that the school library can be open with a qualified teacher-librarian, I have no desire to teach P.E. or kindergarten. I have a walking date with a friend which takes priority. I might meet my daughter later and Monsieur and I have plans. Besides, there's laundry....I am definitely not on a career path.

I'm not sure what Chuck Conley's job was...something about providing emotional intelligence to those who already had digital intelligence but I liked the sound of it. I aspire to be a "modern elder"
this year.


  1. An interesting post, Madame. I'm one of the eldest teachers at our school (born in 56), and most of my co-workers are shocked when they find out my age. Interacting with younger colleagues and even younger students offers an opportunity for engaging with those generations while still able to provide a longer perspective. I'm teaching just afternoons and occasionally TOC in the mornings, but I'm picky about what I'll do. I like the term "modern elder."

  2. Now we have "teacher candidates" on Thursdays. They're really young. I did my teacher training forty years ago. But it is different to be in a "mixed age" group again. I think that being picky is a definite advantage of part-time work. You can share what you know and enjoy with students.


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