Today, we have Elaine Hurst writing about how running a business and teaching can be similar. This interesting perspective can help us to see that what we do each day in the classroom is really getting our students ready for the read world.  There is so much in our hidden curriculum that is highlighted here.  ~EMP

Have you ever noticed that there’s a certain similarity between running a business and making sure that students are learning? Creating an environment where students can succeed and keeping a business afloat are both processes that have a surprising number of factors in common. Learning about how they relate to each other can help you succeed at either or at both.

First, consider the similarities in communication methods. MBA Online, a business resource, notes that trying to keep employees on the same track is like herding cats, and similarly, the same can be said for trying to direct a classroom discussion, whether the students are in college or grade school. Good communication means that there is information traveling back and forth. The teacher knows how the students are adjusting to the material, and the business manager understands how his or her team is doing in the face of a challenge.

North Dakota State University suggests that one of the primary goals of being a teacher is to help others understand their strengths. This is something that makes a great deal of sense from a business owner’s perspective as well. While employees are hired for the jobs that they know how to do or for which they have the potential talent to handle, the employer should be on the lookout for talents that they can bring out. Some of the best employees are the ones who end up doing things that they never expected to do, and some of the best students are discovered the same way.

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The NDT Resource Center states that goal setting is important for teachers and the truth of the matter is that it is just as important for business managers. Think about the goals that teachers set for their students each day, the challenges that are presented and which should be fulfilled. Business managers need to set goals for their employees while similarly trying to move forward and achieve their own goals for their customers. If students and employees do not know what they are doing or what they are struggling for, their ability to succeed will diminish significantly.

Similarly, consider the fact that both teacher and student, and manager and employee need to have goals that are compatible. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to success, no matter what the relationship is. The teacher wants to help the student excel, the manager wants to help the employee do the best job that he or she can. Unfortunately, both of these relationships can turn into situations where everyone is working cross-purposes to each other, and in turn, this can become something that draws away from the goals that are stated.

Think about how both teaching and business management are things that are surprisingly similar. The lessons learned from one can be used for another, and you’ll discover that with a small amount of work, both can be improved. Consider where you are and what you want, and then think about what this kind of philosophy can gain for you.

Elaine is currently a researcher/writer interested in a variety of issues ranging from education to public policy to finance. She’s currently developing her web design and editing skills by working on several online projects.

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