Saturday, April 2, 2011

What the Heck is a Teacherpreneur?


Gamal D. Sherif said...

Terrific medium and well designed.

What if the opening questions was "What the heck is a teacher leader?"

How is a teacherpreneur different from that which CTQ originally intended, and many of us aspire to, with teacher leadership?

Dave Orphal said...

Hi Gamal,

Great question, what is the difference between a "teacher leader" and a "teacherpreneur"? Can I add in another buzz title that's is running about the ed-reform circles, "educational entrepreneur"?

Here's my shot at it...

"Teacher Leaders"
These folks have been around for quite a long time. These are the people who have teaching credentials but have left the classroom to be professional development coaches, administration, educational consultants, etc..
Alternatively, they remain in the classroom full time and do all of the leadership work after-hours. Many of the folks on TLN (Teacher Leader Network) fit this description, as do teacher-association volunteers, teacher bloggers, and the like. Some may get a pittance of compensation for this work - not near enough to say "paid" but enough to feel like a "thank you."

"Educational Entrepreneurs"
These are folks who may or may not have had any experience as a classroom teacher. They see a deficit, hole, or problem in the education world and an opportunity to provide a service. They get paid for providing their service.

These are part-time classroom teachers. This is the big idea -- job sharing so that the traditionally non-teaching jobs associated with a school; the traditionally non-teaching role of ed-policy maker; the traditionally non-teacher role of researcher, staff developer, etc... can all be done by people still have a foot in the classroom.

The closest I ever came to being a "teacherpreneur" was the two years I taught full time at a continuation high school in northern California, then, after work, taught at the local university in their teacher-prep program. I think I was a "teacher leader" those days. Had my school district seen the value of my university work enough to help me organize a job share, or if they had an agreement with the university for me to do both roles, then I would have been a real "teacherpreneur."

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