So You Want to Be a Teacherpreneur?

Have you ever dreamed of teaching and ___________ simultaneously? Is a hybrid role for you?  Do you crave release time to complete a meaningful project that you’ve been planning in your head for years?

You may be a budding teacherpreneur if you find yourself affirmatively nodding to the following seven signs:

  • While showering, flossing, or running Sunday errands, you find yourself lesson planning and daydreaming about ways to improve public education.
  • You write things like lesson objectives, emails, Tweets, blog posts, and letters to policymakers in your head before drifting off to sleep at night.
  • You’re interested in (and troubled, and disgusted, and amused by) public policy and education reform possibilities.
  • You like dressing up for days with state legislatures (or for an audience other than your students) and dressing down for nights spent connecting virtually with colleagues on webinars and in asynchronous conversations.
  • You benefit from lots of input and collaboration from the field across time zones, content areas, grade levels, and geographic contexts.
  • You “geek out” on blogs, professional texts, and all things edu-speak.
  • You want to lead without leaving the classroom and consider student contact time the highlight of any given workday.

​Read more here about a week in the life of a teacherpreneur, and consider applying for CTQ’s 2014-15 cohort today! 

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  • Shannoncdebaca

    Suggests a deeper problem too.

    Wow, great blog post. It made me think of why I was searching for and yearning for deeper stuff, more time to digest research and dig into the policy stuff. I think it speaks to a deeper systemic flaw in education. We really do not feed the intelectual side of teachers as valuable folks who are growing. We talk a lot about growth opportunities for students but we need to focus as well on the teachers. Our staff development efforts, although well intentioned and on rare occasions stimulating, are mostly baby food for the brain. I think most teachers need more meaty discussions and time to dig in and digest. We have the technology to do this, why do you think staff development is stuck in neutral?

    • JessicaCuthbertson

      Amen, Shannon!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Shannon! You pose a great question, “Why do you think staff development is stuck in neutral?” I’ve scratched my head and furrowed my brow so many times over this very question. It seems so counterintuitive that the very things we don’t want to do to students (one-size-fits-all learning, sit-and-get sessions, etc.) are still done (frequently) to teachers! I think (like so many education issues) it’s a complex question with a myriad of answers. 

      • Schools have historically been “top down” structures based on efficiency and control vs. innovation and critical thinking (slow to change and driven by fears of what teacher leadership might really mean if widespread?)
      • Outside factors like master schedules and bus routes often ‘drive’ (or dictate) the learning time (or lack thereof) vs. the learning driving the schedule (time constraints) 
      • Professional development is still largely planned and facilitated by outside consultants vs. practicing teachers and/or delivered in “one-size-fits-all” models to the entire district, school staff, etc. vs. personalized learning models (or virtual models!) designed and led by and for teachers and based on teacher’s areas of interest, need and experience 

      …and the list goes on! I do think hybrid roles offer one very viable solution to combat the learning and leading struggles full-time pracitioners face. I want such roles to be mainstream vs. isolated opportunities. It is only by freeing up time and space for teachers that we can work to innovate and create new learning spaces and opportunities for each other. Until then, we’ll be stealing pockets and windows of time to read, reflect and collaborate outside our “duty day” schedules. What might a “movement” for teacher personalized learning time look and sound like? 


  • Shannoncdebaca

    So true!

    Jessica, You summed it up well. The idea of teacherpreneur roles in PD open up a world of folks who have practical just today experience and who can understand the frustrations of teachers when an outside consultant suggests something that is not as powerful as what the teachers are currently doing.

    So, anyone up for an adventure? I am willing to post a list of folks and their expertise who might be willing to help a district or a group of teachers with a PD challenge and help them connect with PD opportunities to share what they know. With the opportunity to present online or via you tube the world is your oyster. 

    Can you tell I want to change PD by making it unusual for any teacher to face a PD provider who has not taught in the last few days.

    • JessicaCuthbertson

      Do it!


      “The list” sounds like an amazing resource and launchpad — count me in! 🙂 If you create it in the Collab feel free to link it here and I’ll do my best to spread the word!

      – JC