What Is a Teacherpreneur?

What Is a Teacherpreneur?

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2074-1.ch001

Abstract

This chapter introduces the reader to the concept of teacherpreneurs and elaborates on the emerging teacherpreneurship movement. Several general definitions of teacherpreneurs are provided, followed by background information on the origin of the concept and the connection between entrepreneurship and teacherpreneurship. In addition, three types of teacherpreneurs are discussed: classroom teacherpreneurs, business teacherpreneurs, and consultant teacherpreneurs. Each type and how it functions in the educational environment are described in detail, and a brief review of related literature is presented. The information conveyed in this chapter provides the foundation for understanding the content included in the remaining chapters of this book.
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Introduction

The kind of teaching needed today requires teachers to be high-level knowledge workers who constantly advance their own professional knowledge as well as that of their profession. —Andreas Schleicher (2012)

The term teacherpreneur seems to have emerged around the year 2010, though it is unclear who coined the word. Because the concept is a fairly new one within the realm of education, an abundance of consensus on the idea does not yet exist. However, organizations such as The Center for Teaching Quality (n.d., para. 4), whose goal is “to serve as a catalyst for teachers and administrators to collectively drive needed change in education, from classroom-level improvements to systems-level innovation,” have begun making strides in changing the educational landscape by supporting the development of teacherpreneurs.

So what, exactly, is a teacherpreneur? A definition encompasses many facets, and since no formal definition exists, the myriad of descriptions of the term range from simple to complex, as seen in the following descriptions:

  • Teacherpreneurs are “classroom experts who teach students regularly, but also have time, space, and reward to incubate and execute their own ideas—just like entrepreneurs! They create products to fill teaching voids, frequently sharing and profiting through the use of technology” (Lynch, 2019, para. 1).

  • A teacherpreneur is “an educator who has a passion for finding opportunities to make a difference, share their knowledge and expertise, and innovate the world of education to increase student success” (Gargas, 2017, para. 1).

  • A teacherpreneur is “an educator who combines creativity, skills, and expertise to develop products, resources, and services outside the classroom to earn additional income” (Palmer, 2017, para. 3).

  • A teacherpreneur “becomes involved in educational leadership, writes their own curricula, researches educational philosophies, educates other teachers and even works to reform official educational policies” (University of Kansas School of Education, 2019, para. 2).

  • Teacherpreneurs are “the learning innovators who are developing expansive learning transfer processes for the learner-hungry people by circumventing the barriers built up by the centuries-old, introspective and outdated ‘industrial-age’ education system. Teacherpreneurs are innovative knowledge plumbers who are connecting a life-giving resource to the knowledge-starved people of the planet” (Revolution in Learning, 2012, para. 6).

  • Teacherpreneurs “are motivated to initiate action. They execute, which is a key idea, because there are many new ideas out there, but without the execution of getting it done, it remains just an idea” (Ahdoot, 2015, para. 6). In addition, teacherpreneurs “know how to get it done. There is a capability component, which entails partnering with the right people” (Ahdoot, 2015, para. 7).

According to Shelton and Archambault (2019), the typical teacherpreneur is an educator who has been in the teaching profession for a considerable period of time. Teacherpreneurs view themselves as dedicated to assisting other teachers. They enjoy collaborating with other educators who are as devoted to teaching as they are and enjoy developing innovative educational resources.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Stakeholder: Parents, students, teachers, school administrators, school board members, and anyone else who has a personal stake in a student’s academic success.

Business Teacherpreneur: A teacher who teaches entrepreneurial skills to students so they can develop a business on their own at some point in the future.

Consultant Teacherpreneur: A former teacher who has their own consulting business and assists schools in improving academics.

Innovation: Developing and/or implementing a new idea or process.

Classroom Teacherpreneur: A classroom teacher, either general or special education, who is a leader in collaboration, innovation, and professional development, who explores any and all avenues to promote student achievement, and whose reach sometimes extends outside the classroom as an influencer at the school, district, state, or national level.

Innovator Teacherpreneur: An alternative term for classroom teacherpreneur that refers to a teacher who thinks creatively to get results and utilizes extraordinary resources to educate all children regardless of their current school environment.

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