If you’re like me, you have dreams and ideas outside of the classroom.
It may be within education, training other teachers, or posting a “saving grace” for teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Or… you could be looking to start a business to get you out of the classroom.
Whatever your path is, entrepreneurship is not an easy road by itself. Being a teacherpreneur is even harder.
Between lesson planning, giving all your energy to your students, PD sessions, staff meetings, IEP meetings, and if it applies, a family waiting for you at home, you feel overwhelmed. You get angry with yourself because you’ve given so much of your time to everything and everyone else. You realize at the end of the day that you’ve helped everyone else accomplish something, except yourself.
I’ve been there. But last year, I was determined to take some of my time back for my own dreams and ideas. I felt empowered and revived once I changed around a few things in my life.
Here are 3 ways to make your passions a priority and find the time and space in your busy life to focus on them. It’s time to give the teacherpreneur in you the time they deserve.
Pick a Day
During my new teacher orientation, I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Bonner. Bonner is an impactful teacher who just started his first year at Ron Clark Academy. Along with being a great teacher, he is also a speaker for educators and an author, while creating other business ventures that are education-focused.
My questions to Mr. Bonner was simple. “How do you balance teaching and having your own business?”
His answer? Pick a day.
Pick one day out of the week and stay late to prepare for the week. Get all your copies, data forms, and setups out of the way on that ONE day. Then, for the rest of the week, go home when the bell rings (or car/bus duty is over). Spend 30 min relaxing and doing an activity that helps you to unwind… or grade papers. Then, focus on your business.
I’ve been doing this for the past few weeks, and it has really turned my days around. I feel prepared when I walk in the door at school, which feels amazing. But the best feeling is coming home, knowing that I can spend some time focusing on what makes me happy.
Find an accountability group/partner
Something I’ve learned about myself is that I need someone to check in on me when it comes to my passions and dreams. My husband has been that someone for me. Every day he asks me about what I’ve done to work on my business. When I try to bring up what happened at school or bring up anything about my students, he stops me.
When I log onto Facebook, I start seeing posts from a few entrepreneurship groups I’m in. As I scroll through the groups, I see ideas and strategies posted that I save and look into for my own business. Even if I don’t go very far with it, at least it has me thinking about my business and not school.
Having someone check in on you throughout the day or week helps you to stay on track and remember to leave work at work and focus on your passions.
Find time at work to dream
I wrote my first book while I was at work. Throughout my day, I would make time to just write. I wanted to be an author and I was determined to finish my book before the year was out. So throughout my day, if I had 10-20 minutes, I focused on my passion. During my prep time, lunch, and sometimes during group rotations, when students were occupied and didn’t need me.
It became something I picked up when I had a moment of frustration and I just needed to breathe. I take my notes, notebooks, and tablet with me to work every day. When I find the time, I pull it out and work on something.
When you have a moment, work on your dream. It can even be something as simple as jotting down a few notes on a sticky note or sending yourself an email after you brainstorm some ideas about your business. Fit it in anywhere you can.
Your dreams matter. Your passions matter.
Don’t put them on the back burner any longer. Take some time using the tips above and focus on what you desire.
I would hate for you to look up a few years, stuck in a classroom, staring out the window, and wishing you were someplace else or doing something more with your life.
Step fully into your teacherpreneur role.
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