The Striking Similarities between Teachers and Start-up CEOs (Aaron Schildkrout)

I could not agree more with Aaron’s comparisons of a start-up environment (whether in the role of a CEO, VP, middle management, engineer, or accountant) and that of a “new” teacher.

My point of view parallels Aaron’s, yet is directionally opposite, much like a vector. I worked for 25+ years in high-tech, often at start-ups or start-up environments. Innovate or die was my mantra for those many years. I take the same passion to my classroom where I received a key to my classroom and a “good luck” from the administration. While I crave some outside support, mostly in terms of parental support, I know I am on an incredibly important mission that few understand, much less appreciate. To do so, one must have taught as if they were on fire, which is how I describe how one must feel if you really want to teach; otherwise, look elsewhere, as you will not survive, or our students will not receive the education they deserve.

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Aaron Schildkrout is a former Codman Academy charter school teacher in Boston and technology entrepreneur in creating a dating website, HowAboutMe. He is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at RRE Ventures in New York City. This post appeared February 9, 2015.

In this post he compares being a teacher to being the CEO of a start-up company, two positions that he has held. Explicitly, Schildkrout says that both roles, one public and the other private, are “strikingly” similar. Implicitly, however, in bridging both the private and the public sectors, he asks readers to take away a deeper lesson.  The dissimilar purposes of running a for-profit business and the purposes of teaching youth in a tax-supported public school are, he says, of little consequence. What really matters is not toward what end sbut how the job gets done.

When, six years ago, I made the switch from high school teacher to start-up…

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About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Secondary math teacher teaching math intervention, algebra 1, honors precalculus, and AP Calculus AB. I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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