I did not take the normal route to teaching. My dad actually strongly discouraged both of his daughters from becoming teachers. He said that this career could not provide a solid future for us. While this may seem incredibly harsh to some, it actually steered both me and my sister to explore other paths and then in some form or another because, we are his stubborn daughters, we both became teachers.
Let me explain.
While we got the talk of you are going to college, because you have to be a college graduate, he made attempts to firmly convince us to choose other paths in life. He had watched my mom struggle to barely be paid anything as a home economics teacher in the early 70s and deal with incredibly disrespectful students who were staging riots at schools because it was the early 70s. He watched as people he grew up with, went on strike at the local school to advocate for higher wages not getting paid while on the picket line or as was common place at the time getting pink slipped at the end of the year. This was not a lifestyle that he wanted for his daughters.
He encouraged us to follow any other path we wanted. And you know what, it was the best advice he could have given us. We both followed paths of communication. My sister with marketing and myself with public relations and journalism. We learned about understanding your audience and tailoring messages to help people inform people to make better decisions. We learned about cutting through the fluff and focusing on what's important because time is of the essence. We learned about bias and making ethical choices. We learned about putting your best foot forward and the importance of telling your story in the tone and voice that you want to come across.
If you look at educational trends today, teachers today are being asked to:
The new skills of marketing and business are qualities that students today will need to embody to be able to navigate the world ahead. Methods like problem based learning and STEM encourage students to think about the audience for whom they are creating solutions. We are asking these students to be mini-business owners and entrepreneurs promoting and sharing their ideas with the world.
Do teachers today have enough background in marketing and business to create experiences for their students to practice?