Leading without leaving is the greatest perk of life as a “teacherpreneur.”
This means I spend my mornings with 7th graders. Right now my English language arts class is immersed in a biographical photo essay genre study.
I spend my afternoons (and sometimes evenings and weekends) with adults. I connect with other teachers, school and district leaders, policymakers, parents, and community members to support thoughtful implementation of the Common Core state standards and the Colorado Academic Standards, among other teacher leader initiatives.
Like teaching, teacherpreneurism is not an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. gig. Instead, it’s a professional identity—a part of myself I can’t turn off. And it’s highly addictive.
On some days, I discover amazing intersections of advocacy, new partnerships, and diverse perspectives that push me to be a better teacher and leader. Other days find me experiencing caffeine overload, administrative tasks, deadlines, teacher guilt, and endless wondering: How did testifying on the Hill help my 7th graders? Should planning for a webinar or contacting parents take priority? Do reading, tweeting, and emailing really count as leadership work?
The role of a teacherpreneur varies widely depending on the geographic context, skills and passion areas of the practitioner. (Examples of other teacherpreneur roles include helping teachers redesign schools or building connections with expert teachers in other countries.). So I can’t tell you what a “typical week” looks like—every week is different!
But here’s a peek at my past week:
- Monday: Arrive at school early and finish lesson planning for the week, teach class, then attend gifted-and-talented identification meetings for three of my students who should have been identified years ago but somehow slipped through the cracks. After a late lunch, hop on a monthly virtual check-in meeting with my coast-to-coast teacherpreneur colleagues. Squeeze in legislative-liaison training facilitated by our association president before dinner. End the day reviewing Colo. SB 14-136, a bill intended to stall implementation of the state standards including the common core, and polishing my testimony on the bill.
Every day is different. Every week has its own rhythm (and not all weeks are this crazy).
But you might be a budding teacherpreneur if:
- While showering, flossing, or running Sunday errands, you find yourself lesson planning and daydreaming about ways to improve public education.
Basically, you might be a teacherpreneur if you spend a lot of time looking at your principal during staff meetings and thinking: Wow, I would never want his/her job! But I sure do wish I could teach and ...
And if you caught yourself secretly planning your teaching and leading to-do lists while reading this post, consider applying for CTQ’s 2014-15 teacherpreneur cohort today.