Teacherpreneur (noun): “Classroom experts who teach while also serving as teacher educators, policy researchers, community organizers and trustees of their profession.” (Berry, 2011)
Several years back, the advent of the term “teacherpreneur” encouraged many teachers to take the reins on leadership roles in education. The call for teacherpreneurs stemmed from a long-time problem identified by teachers regarding education reform. Understandably so, teachers voiced their frustrations about the extent to which policymakers are disconnected from the classroom. They felt that those who set the standards did not sufficiently understand the demands of the classroom and the needs of students.
In came the idea of the teacherpreneur, which posited the benefits that could come from entrepreneurally-minded leaders who want to contribute to education reform solutions. Teacherpreneurs are passionate classroom teachers who are deeply knowledgeable about how to achieve success at the classroom level, school level, and beyond. These educators have a clear vision of the strategies necessary to reach educational excellence and possess the skills and commitment required to reach those goals. While on the leadership path, teacherpreneurs continue to keep one foot in the classroom.
Teacherpreneurs make the education landscape more promising for the teaching community as a whole. In this integrated approach, teachers remain in the classroom while playing an active role in important projects at their school, district, and other organizations. The end result are leaders who have the classroom knowledge to properly and drastically transform education reform.
So why are we talking about teacherpreneurs on a blog about integrating technology into the classroom? Because a key area in which all teacherpreneurs should be well-versed is educational technology. As more educators rise up to the opportunity to be leaders in the field, educational technology will continue to increase in sophistication, relevance, and importance. As a teacherpreneur, you will not only be leading in engaging your students and education reform, but also in edtech. Many of the most innovative tech-based learning and teaching tools have been developed by classroom teachers such as yourself. It is now more important than ever to embrace technology as you foster the skills you need to help your students, school, district, and yourself succeed.
There are many tools available to help you on the track to teacherpreneurship as 2015 rolls around. The first step is to educate yourself on what “teacherpreneur” really means, and what it takes to become a leader. Sharpen your tech skills and become a thought leader in the edtech scene. Lastly, take action by taking on important new roles and responsibilities that contribute to the teaching community. Below we offer a few resources for accomplishing the aforementioned points.
Online EdTech Courses
*The courses below are part of PDI’s Educational Technology Award of Completion Program offered in association with UC San Diego Extension
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Berry, B., (2011). Teaching 2030. New York, NY: Teacher College Press.