Benefits of and Challenges to Becoming a Teacherpreneur

Benefits of and Challenges to Becoming a Teacherpreneur

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2074-1.ch006

Abstract

This chapter educates the reader on the benefits of and challenges to becoming a teacherpreneur. The benefits—which include being able to set their own work schedule, having control over what additional responsibilities they take on, supplemental income, or becoming a better teacher due to the reflective practices—typically outweigh the challenges, which can include working alone, lack of a steady income (especially in the beginning when starting out), excessive paperwork to fill out (e.g., self-employment taxes, paperwork to consult with a school), lack of collaborative support, an unpredictable work schedule, and a high level of competition. Educators who are interested in becoming teacherpreneurs should be aware of the benefits and challenges discussed herein prior to getting involved in this educational movement.
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Benefits For Teacherpreneurs

Additional Responsibilities

Some educators, although they enjoy teaching and are comfortable in the classroom, decide they want more responsibilities and challenges; thus, they often transition into the position of teacherpreneur. Consequently, though they teach and manage a classroom full-time, they are also likely to conduct professional development for the other teachers in the school on professional development days. They may also lead their grade-level team or serve as head of a committee for some organization within the school or district. Whatever the additional responsibilities, they thrive while doing it.

The benefits that the teacherpreneur gains from accepting these extra responsibilities are many. According to Ostroeski (2017), having control over one’s responsibilities is one very satisfying benefit that can especially factor into a teacher’s decision to remain on the job. Teacherpreneurs who are given the opportunity to choose additional tasks that they prefer and that interest them as opposed to being assigned to them feel that they are in charge, and they are more fulfilled in their teaching position. Further, because teacherpreneurs have been allowed to provide input into their assigned tasks, their level of enthusiasm will be noticeably higher; thus, the potential for accomplishing the assigned task increases, which benefits the teacher, the students, the school, and the district. Moreover, the teacherpreneur’s excitement level for performing such tasks will be infectious to the teachers and students surrounding them, thus making it a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Flexibility

Teacherpreneurs also have the advantage of flexibility as to when to complete an assigned task. If they see a problem that needs to be addressed, they can work on it as much or as little as their time allows. This element is especially appealing when a teacherpreneur has commitments outside of school hours because they can adjust their work schedule to meet these other demands on their own time. Occasionally, strict time requirements might be called for, but for the most part, time guidelines can be adjusted to meet the teacherpreneur’s needs. Teacherpreneurs also have the flexibility to work on their projects outside of school hours. They can work on them before or after school or on the weekend, if desired.

Classroom teachers must also be willing to think outside the box and create their own pathway if their current situation is not motivating them to come to work and be creative (Wolpert-Gawron, 2015). Sometimes teachers can speak to their school administrator and a compromise for a new position can be reached. However, more often than not the teacher will have to develop their own teacherpreneur position, which may include time outside the typical school day. Regardless of how one secures a teacherpreneurship, educators who are willing to progress to that level need the time and space to execute their creativity and share it with others in their school buildings and districts and across other school districts within their state and perhaps even nationally (Wolpert-Gawron, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Isolation: In education, a condition in which teachers traditionally practiced, signified by a teacher’s aloneness in performing their duties with little support from external sources (e.g., colleagues, administrators, etc.). An applicable colloquialism is “operating without a net.”

Seasoned Teacher: One who has taught in the classroom for more than 10 years; a veteran teacher.

Collaboration: Working with other teachers in and outside one’s own school building and district to improve teaching practices and brainstorm ideas.

Digital Learning: Learning that is accompanied by and makes use of technology. Examples include online courses, video tutorials, and e-textbooks. Importantly, it can be accomplished anywhere and at any time.

Networking: Being able speak with others to gain information as well as to make both social and professional contacts to use as the future deems necessary.

Critical Eye: Examining a product very closely to ensure its value.

Sphere of Influence: The range of professional and personal acquaintances who can be influenced by an individual’s opinion. It is determined by one’s stature and the respect the acquaintances have for the individual.

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