I’ve been in the education field for almost 10 years now. I left the classroom a year ago due to my college’s elimination of adjunct faculty. You can read more about this here. After leaving the classroom I joined Design Cofounders, a design and entrepreneurship studio to work on a project I’ve been working on part-time for a while, called The Writing Project. The Writing Project is an app that helps students to write better.
I became an entrepreneur.
Becoming an entrepreneur has changed so much of my perspective on education, teaching and learning. I also came to understand and see the value of entrepreneurship as a necessary subject to teach in the classroom to develop important skills that all students will use as learning tools later in life.
Here are some ways a teacher can implement entrepreneurship in the classroom:
- Introduce goal-oriented learning We encourage this as educators everyday. We emphasize the importance of understanding “why” we’re learning a particular topic. However, students not only need to understand “why” they’re learning specific concepts, but they also need to be encouraged to set their own learning goals.
- Help students see learning as goals for them to achieve: For example “Goal: I would like to improve my writing” Why? “To be able to write a great resume for my summer job”
- Next step: How can we achieve this goal?
- Perhaps setting a 20 minutes per day time to achieve this goal whether through writing/blogging. Or setting some time to share writing with peer or teacher to receive feedback.
- Encourage solution-based thinking Always encourage students to approach problems from a solution-centred perspective. It’s easy for us to centre the problem and block our many possible solutions. However, it’s important that we encourage students to centre possible solutions to solve the problem. This mindset always helps entrepreneurs to overcome many of the obstacles they face in starting their business. More importantly, solution-based thinking encourages the development and use of brainstorming, problem-solving, and empathy in and outside of the classroom. For more information about solutions-based thinking model, check out my blog post about it here.
- Provide an opportunity for Storytelling Everyone loves storytelling, but entrepreneurs especially love storytelling because most often their livelihood depends on it. Storytelling and entrepreneurship allows us to learn from our past mistakes, failures and successes. Sharing with others those mistakes, failures, and successes are mini lessons to use in and outside of the classroom. Have students sit in a circle or groups and share 1 story of success and 1 story of failure. Even better, encourage students to write about those stories and why they resonated with them. What did they learn from them? How can they help others by sharing this story? This empowers students to understand that mistakes and failure is part of the learning process.