Teachers as Executive Directors
Teachers leaving their positions are up to 7% in 2022 from 5% in 2019 according to an Education Week poll taken in August of 2022. While this complex phenomenon is not the topic of today’s post, it is the fuel for an idea. As I enter into the nonprofit world in a leadership position and continue in entrepreneurship, I find such tremendous crossover between the skills needed in the classroom and in the boardroom. While I am a big supporter of educators and want to see all educators be paid at an excellent rate and work in well-funded schools, more nonprofits and charitable organizations could use this shift in the job markets to attract fantastic leaders to their leadership teams.
Strategic plans are essentially a unit plan that brings a group of people together around common values and goals with objectives and strategies and lots of moving parts. Grant applications-very similar to lesson plans and many teachers are already fundraising and writing for grants to obtain materials for students when schools can’t supply them! Leadership and management skills are all based in relationship building and working toward a common goal-that IS that teachers do all day, both in the classroom but also with peers, administrators and parents.
Innovation and creativity are a must for both educators and nonprofit leadership. Flexibility and clear communication while modeling and expecting accountability are found in every well functioning classroom every day. Some of the biggest skills I see in teachers are conflict resolution and negotiation while finding creative solutions to make sure that everyone's needs are met.
I save passion and caring for last, because this can sometimes be overlooked or taken as a natural part of the job-working for stakeholders who do not compensate for the amount of experience, dedication, and simply time that it takes to teach well. But educators are some of the most caring and dedicated individuals out there. Care for our community paired with excellent organizational and motivational skills can create sector leaders that can really drive change.
Consider looking for some educators who have moved on from the field, compensated them well and hold them close! Teachers are gold!