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  • Writer's pictureolivershearman

The Struggle-The Hustle: A Brief Reflection on being a Teacher Entrepreneur

Hi fellow educators and colleagues,

Diving into the world of teacher entrepreneurship (being a teacherpreneur ), I’ve been juggling the roles of guiding students and running a small business. It’s a unique ride, different from what you’d see in the regular business scene, but I think most of us who do this understand that.

Every day, I face the challenge of balancing my time between teaching and managing my little business. It's like being in two places at once, constantly switching hats from educator to entrepreneur. Managing this without letting one side slip is a tricky dance, but it's become a part of my daily routine. I personally have found this difficult, particularly balancing family time, teacher time and teacherpreneur time.

My personal handle as a teacher-entrepreneur is The Teaching Astrophysicist which as you can guess is based on my background and interests.

Running a business as an educator, I’ve noticed that the education sector doesn’t quite operate like other markets. My business isn't just about making money; it's deeply tied to improving how we teach and learn. Everything I do in my business aims to bring something valuable to the classroom, something that can make a real difference. Part of this is making teaching resources such as can be seen in my online store, using the classic site - TpT - link here.

Of course, there is much more than just making educational resources, being a teacher in business might mean a lot of different kinds of work. Possibilities might include consulting, course development, curriculum development, book writing, tutoring (of course) and much more besides. We are an adaptable bunch, but finding the balance and right opportunities is yet another challenge in a tricky combo of roles that we have.

Dealing with the rules and standards in education while trying to grow a business adds another layer to the mix. It's about finding that sweet spot where my business ideas fit within the educational framework and really serve our community's needs. I also need to find companies willing to support me and work with me on a contract-by-contract basis.

Here's something you might find interesting: unlike many businesses, a big chunk of what I create – let's say around 10% – I give away for free. Why? Because it’s essential to get these tools into as many hands as possible, especially in education, where budgets are tight. This approach helps get my work out there and truly supports educators and students, which is what it’s all about. Yet, when you think about it, it is rare to see any business - even a small one like mine - offer 10% of what we make for free. It makes life a bit more difficult and challenging for those of us who are teacherpreneurs, but I still enjoy being able to share my work both for free and when I actually do make sales.

If you might like to see my free resources, you can check them out here.

Sure, it’s not the typical entrepreneurial path where the bottom line is king. For me, the real win is seeing my work impact education positively. It's about creating and sharing solutions that help us teach better and help our students learn more effectively. Building connections within our educational community has been one of the best parts of this journey. Talking with you all, understanding our shared challenges, and figuring out how my business can help address them is incredibly rewarding.

Despite the hurdles, this path has been rewarding in ways I hadn’t imagined. Beyond the potential financial benefits, it’s given me a chance to grow in my field, learn new skills, and really see the impact of my work in classrooms.

So, that's a snapshot of my life as a teacher entrepreneur. It’s a blend of education and business, with its own set of challenges and rewards. But at the end of the day, it’s about making a difference in our schools and helping shape the future of education. If you're thinking about this path or are on it already, let’s share our experiences and keep supporting each other in this journey. Hopefully this might help at least one other person feel supported and less alone in their teacher-entrepreneur endeavours.

Here’s to creating and teaching, and making a difference in every class and every business idea we bring to life!

Thanks for reading

Cheers and stay curious

Oliver - The Teaching Astrophysicist

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1 Kommentar

Nawel Attig
Nawel Attig
30. März

That's amazing! I enjoyed reading your article which talks about my case now, in which I am still figuring out it woks and how I can make it more managed and successful. Thank you for sharing.

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