Thursday, July 25, 2013

Teacher Tours of Duty

I have seen the term "teacher entrepreneurs" around on the Internet, but I never looked into what it meant assuming it was referring to teachers who make extra selling lessons or possibly those who facilitate teacher training.

Today I was listening to The Harvard Business Review's podcast (ideacast) and they had two authors on the show who wrote an article for called, Tours of Duty: The New Employer-Employee Compact.

This article is all about how the landscape of business has changed and how the relationship between employee and employer has entered a mutually-beneficial compact where the employee goes to work and builds their own skill set while helping the company prosper. In this scenario, it is expected that employees are "free-agents" and will leave for a better job and the employer should encourage it to maintain flexibility.

While I was reading this I could not help thinking of how similar this is to the international school culture. After all, we are on contracts that last as little as one year. Teachers are generally on the lookout for more professional development. Schools generally encourage [and pay for] it, and they benefit from the connections teachers make to other teachers through the knowledge gained from those connections.

So, if we teachers want to help the schools we work for, one way to do that is by growing our personal learning networks (PLNs) to tap the ideas and knowledge of the teachers outside our schools.

If you teach at an international school, this might be an interesting listen (if nothing else than marveling at how the rest of the world is caching up to international schools.)

No connection to the post - I just wanted to add some color here.


  1. The expat business world operates pretty much as the international schools do. We're within the same company but we also change contracts every 2 or so years. For my dh's company, moving around the world is a part of his professional development and career development.

    Well, the students of working expats are the ones attending the international schools so it makes sense.

    It's a privilege to be a part of a community where we are encouraged to follow our dreams. Our employers don't begrudge us when we move for new experiences, new development, and new challenges. They're good employers and know there will be someone else waiting in the wings to take our places with their exciting skill-set.

    1. That podcast got me thinking about how I have always viewed my PLN being about me. But really, just as teachers bring things back from conferences and share them with the faculty, I could be more active in formally sharing what I learn through my PLN.