If teaching is a profitable venture, then it should be your business as an educator. As a schoolteacher, think of your classroom as your business center for learning and teaching; a market place where ideas are managed (identified, exchanged and improved upon). Imagine when each teacher sees their classroom, as an important unit that determines the overall quality and population (clientèle) of the entire school, then your perspective will change on how you run your classroom.
The thoughts of what will I do as the CEO of my classroom and business unit to make it an excellent hub for quality, attractive and profitable learning environment for your students. Making your classroom the best version of the entire school is one brand skill all schoolteachers should accomplish when building the career in education. Like every business that are customer centered, you classroom activities should also be learners centered.
Understanding teacherpreneur ideals is key to ensure your classroom delivers quality education, mentorship and profitability (making the learning outcome potent) to learners and the entire school.
Here are some key elements you should take into consideration and implement when reinventing your classroom career, as a learning and teaching business unit:
1. Accept your mentor status.
The assignment of a teacher seen from various perspectives, including role model and mentor in one or several academic and non-academic areas of your students. Apart from your teacher training background, there is wealth of soft skills you should develop in your career, like: creativity, problem solving, managing and operating on little or no budget allocation for your classroom activities. Moreover, the school management expects you as a class teacher to make the most of what is available to you, which you develop as a mentor by putting yourself in a big box, instead of limiting yourself in a smaller one. Every skill you develop at this point upgrades you to the oracle status, irrespective of your pay grade; you are definitely going to share your understanding of resource management with your current learners one way or another.
2. Ban toxic influences.
Teaching requires clear intent with little or no distraction to keep you analyzing and making maximum impact on your learners. In order to achieve this, ditch people, activities and thoughts that is toxic to your life. Your career can last as long as you have to live with it; so you do not have enough time to gamble with your decisions. So if you are staying, or working or moving around a toxic person or people who attack your confidence and bring you down, you must erase their influence from your life", especially those who disregard the professional title called "teacher".
3. Give yourself a break.
Be nice to yourself. Make time to humour yourself after each day's job of managing the affairs of your classroom. Humour is a creative activity that unnerves the strain and stress within you; helps eliminate wrath that you are likely to pour out on your students in class, when you are uptight with everything. Most times, I make deliberate effort to laugh at myself when am not in the best mood; like magic I am able to recalibrate my emotions in order to avoid any form of burnout at the end of the day. Before you became an educator, you were first human, most issues that you scream about in your classroom, can be handled effortlessly if you take a second thought without reacting involuntary.
Take time to relax and plan your reactions, and estimate your action in a worse case classroom scenario. This is not a deliberate expectation of bad circumstances to happen in your classroom or within your school, but you are preparing to cushion within, to absorb any unwanted shock in case of an emergency. Keep yourself in a conscious state of reasoning out a solution that makes you superhero."
4. Your classroom should be a hive of inspiring ideas.
You can find ideas and inspiration everywhere. Sometimes I walk some distances at the cool of the day or weekends, to get inspiration from the people, activities and beauty I find around me. Taking notes into my mobile phone, of any idea that strikes a chord in my heart. Make notes even when what you see frustrates you in your daily life; then research creative ways to address those inefficiencies at work, home, neigbourhood. All it takes is an idea, your mobile phone or laptop with an Internet connection to create the next inspiring decoration in your classroom, which can later become a major source of income for you, because you made a change in the world.
Do not let your inexperience stop you, I hear some schoolteachers say "I do not have a computer, I am not into the Internet of things and my phone is not smart enough; just another way of saying you are not ready for 21st century education.
5. Focus on the positives.
When the most challenging kid in your classroom has at least 10% or less of something positive about them, which are enough resources to build 90% of your positive impact. There is enough guilt to go around for their parents, so make conscious effort to build on the positive, though least significant areas of your troublesome students. Magnifying the positive over the negative, brings more light to the positive and darkness on the negative; and making a mountain from the negative will put it on the spotlight, diminishing any hope for the positive thrive.
The sandwich technique works miracle, you compliment, chastise and compliment in other to motive a positive performance in difficult students, or else, you wear out in the process of carrying out your duty.
6. Give up on finding the perfect job and life balance
Each day is a journey and the truth is you can do more when you prepare your mind to work before you attempt to do the work of the day. You would have prepared your body to overcome any stress that weighs you down, before the end of your workday. Most times, teachers are given miscellaneous tasks aside their job description, if it is not urgent, take time to digest the entire process before you go to bed and early in the morning before you get out from bed, during meditation. See yourself accomplish your daily tasks step-by-step (not in details) before starting your day, thereby building enough mental capacity that would carry your entire body mass throughout the day, without breaking down later.
Your first thought in the morning is likely the last one you slept with, consciously decide the next-day's intentions before going to sleep, by creating a positive expectation for the next day; you would have the courage to face your Monday morning chores like every other day of the week.
7. Stop the comparison analysis.
When you plan your day and your life every day, you will find it easier to stop comparing yourself with others. Little do you know about the severe mental strain when trying to be like others people/colleagues; they have their destinies you have yours, though we are all educators, yet we are unique enough to make considerable diverse impacts within the same industry.
“Oh! Poor me” assumption only present you with options of indecisiveness, self-doubt, unproductive thought cycle and not your greater purpose or your nobler ability to trust in your potentials.
Mental exhaustion is far worse than body fatigue. A cup of water at interval during work or after each class can revive you almost instantaneously. However, it will take you an hour of sleep or more to recalibrate your brain to continue with your work, and I do not believe your boss will give you a pat on your back for that.
Like athletes, preparing mentally for work saves you 30% of energy at the end of the day, and this is enough energy for your evening relaxation routine, without which you become restless each night.
If you should, then compare yourself with the best in the industry not with mediocrity. Since it is easier to be the best and more difficult to remain the best, then a careful plan of your day and your life each day, working towards your goal(s) is essential to how you would love to see yourself 5, 10, 20 years from now as a schoolteacher.