When Teachers Own The School...
Opening any business is tough. Where to allot funds, maintaining cash flow, overworking continuously for little payout. Sounds about right? So why the heck are we doing this?
Honestly, we really just want to teach. We want the freedom and respect to do it the way we feel education should be; to have parents work with us; to have the resources we need and will actually use; to build something we believe in; and to do something we can enjoy waking up early to go to everyday. We want to design a place that we can teach, actually teach, and love learning for what it can be. We want to reap the rewards of educating - the reward of a child who learns something, the happiness and support a family gives you when you've made a positive difference in their child's life. That feeling of being reminded that you, and what you do, is making a difference and matters - those non-material items are what's driving this train.
Oh but, wait, it's a business, too. Unfortunately.
All that lovey-dovey teacher talk isn't going to pay the bills, I suppose.
Or is it?
(Verdict's still out on this one. We'll keep you posted.)
But at this point, we can honestly say, we know we are doing things differently, and we're sure that it's doing something good. We're teachers who own their school. The giant payout we're looking for is to build a career that is exactly what we set out be when we decided to be a teacher - we want to TEACH, inspire, make a difference. And in order to do so, we need families, a building, fun learning resources, and ourselves. We don't need a million marketing specialists, curriculum designers, evaluation and office administrators, and other highly paid positions of which we're not entirely sure of what their everyday duties would be... We need ourselves and other passionate, driven, and dedicated teachers who care about what they do. We need families who want a good education for their child. And we need funds to support the resources needed for each child. In a school that maintains a small, family-focused feel, that keeps their students' best interests at heart - maintaining small classes, dynamic learning opportunities - all that matters is that each child is engaged in learning and being apart of their school. Perhaps, this is a missing link in other schools - that small, family-focused feel. That connection to education and schooling.
We believe that is where we want to focus our funds. On the students, their learning, and building that connection. We are operating on a very small budget for overhead costs in an attempt to put as much back into the school as possible. The less spent on advertising and such, means more to put into fun learning resources, small classes, and engaging activities for each student.
Now, to do this, we've realized that to open a school on a shoestring budget for marketing and other overhead costs, it truly must be owned by teachers. Teachers are resourceful. Teachers are resilient. They're able to make engaging and exciting experiences for their students using whatever resources are available. They are used to working on shoestring budgets, asking for little in return, and often working continuously, on their own time, constantly on call, just because it's the nature of the job. Teachers also learn to take on various other jobs, while on the job of a teacher. Public relations, marketing, recruitment, office administration, curriculum design, program coordinating, artistic directing, sales, health and safety, evaluating and counselling - you name it, there is a part of every teacher who has fulfilled a duty related to these positions while on the job as a teacher. These skills come in handy with it comes to opening a school on a small budget - you can just do ALL the jobs! (haha, kidding/not kidding) Again, we'll keep you posted on how this turns out...
But with enrolment half full in only a few months, we are happy. We are working hard, but we are happy. We also just hit a steal of a deal on school furniture, too! Resourcefulness is helping out!
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