The state of K12 education in the U.S. has teachers sprinting out of our classrooms and into the job market. Why should you hire us? What types of jobs would a good teacher be qualified to do?
The best of the best in every profession have benefited from the skills of good teachers. Many will tell you that they had at least one teacher who changed their life. Why is that? And how does that make us valuable to companies in the private sector?
We challenge and inspire. We lead by example. We are champion multi-taskers. We maintain the calm amid storm after storm. We are reliable and hard-working by nature. We have a deep love of fostering success. This is what attracted us to the classroom in the first place. We have much to offer in the private sector.
Imagine for a moment a school run by adults who don’t show up, or are constantly tardy. Close your eyes and picture the havoc that a group of unsupervised 10-year olds can wreak in a matter of seconds. If you need reliable, you need me. I show up and I bring my A-game every day. Other people’s lives and futures depend on my A-game.
You need a highly effective communicator? Hire a teacher. While being solely responsible for every aspect of those little people all day every day, I am accountable to parents from every walk of life. There are some who have a master’s degree or higher. Others never graduated from high school. Often, I spend more waking hours with their children than they do. They have legitimate expectations. I owe them an answer to every question they ask. On a moment’s notice I might need to join an administrative conference and analyze the latest round of testing data in great detail. The people in this room have PhD’s. They expect results delivered to them on pie charts and bar graphs with numbers that justify the funding that will keep our doors open. Via email, phone, video chat, or in person I communicate with the utmost respect for, and understanding of, my audience. I am a communication chameleon.
Does your bottom line rely on sales? Selling knowledge is not so different from selling a product or a service. A teacher knows that for a student to learn anything meaningful, they have to come in every day willing to buy what we’re selling. Teachers aren’t lecturers, we’re engagers. We are relationship builders. Does “pi times the radius squared” excite you? Probably not. Every day a teacher has 25 to 30 little customers in the room. At the middle and high school level, we might have 120 of those little customers come through our classrooms every single day. We have to be experts at selling knowledge. If not, they don’t succeed which means we don’t succeed. In direct sales and in sales support, teachers come loaded with strategies for reaching every audience. We have the finely tuned ability to quickly learn what will appeal to the audience sitting in front of us, and can deliver it with the skill of a Tony Award winner. It’s all done live. There are no second chances.
You need someone who is organized. Your business is fast-paced and you need someone who can multi-task very effectively. Look no further. Teachers are detailed planners and expert managers. Part of a good teacher’s planning is always planning to be flexible and to address the diverse needs of a few dozen different people simultaneously. Good teachers think on our feet and we do it with grace and dignity. We can to put out a fire with one hand while bandaging a boo-boo with the other hand, and never lose control of the 80 or 90 other important tasks that must be carefully completed today. Need grace under fire and results? Hire a teacher.
In nearly every successful business today, technology skills are a must. Look no further than the teacher who is applying for your open position. I have expert Microsoft Office and Google Suite skills. Word processing skills are like food and water. Try writing a lesson plan or designing an assessment without them. Spreadsheets are how we track student data and measure progress. I can make charts, graphs, and pivot tables to analyze and track all kinds of data.
I am an expert researcher, writer, and editor. These are, perhaps, the most undervalued tools a teacher has in the arsenal. Textbooks are expensive. They are often outdated and schools lack funding. Even the newest textbooks are incomplete or fail to address a specific student need. A good teacher can quickly find, organize, and track information on any topic. Our ability to research, evaluate, consolidate, document, and present information as a series of logical arguments is unrivaled.
In your business you need a team player with a positive attitude. You need someone who is effective working independently. Look no further. Good teachers independently run our whole show every day. We set the tone in our classrooms. If we aren’t positive, nobody can be positive. Believing you can do it is 9/10 of being able to do it. A good teacher has a “bring it and I can do it” attitude. A good teacher is doing the job right without regard for who is watching.
We manage workflow. We are excellent staff developers. We are trained to create measurably productive work environments with whatever tools are available. We are thinkers. We are lifelong learners. We are cross-functional team players who manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment every day. We thrive on it.
Please take a second look at that resume you received from a teacher. To interview that candidate is well worth an hour of your time.