Who better to innovate for edtech companies than the teachers who have spent time in the K-12 classroom?

From the classroom to the office: What we can learn from educators entering the edtech workforce

Who better to innovate for edtech companies than the teachers who have spent time in the K-12 classroom?

Educators are mission-driven individuals who want to be engaged in work that makes a difference in the lives of children. But this passion can become overwhelming when living a close-up view to the challenges day-in and day-out. Working in edtech still offers them a multitude of ways to contribute to a meaningful mission, but with less personal exposure. In the best case scenario, it can even bring broader impact. “Working in an edtech company has been extremely fulfilling. Today, this former teacher helped ensure 20 students were able to get the service they needed,” shared a recent transplant from the classroom.

Career change considerations

As hoped, shifting to work in the corporate setting has been a refreshing change of pace for former educators, especially when working remotely. The ability to control the workday and how they spend their time is the dominant “plus” that former teachers cite when talking about their experiences in the corporate world. They feel they are now able to decide what they work on, and tune out emails when they need to focus–a world away from the interruptions and distractions of working in the classroom.

However, moving from the classroom to corporate work still has its challenges. Learning new expectations for business deliverables and developing self-discipline to use independent time productively are among the greatest challenges cited by edtech transplants. Teachers are used to having structure and a preset schedule in a classroom. It can be a challenge to move into a corporate role where the bell doesn’t release you.

The impact on edtech companies

Edtech companies are finding particular benefit in leveraging the highly transferable skills former teachers are bringing from key areas. In presentations and public speaking, comfort in front of the class translates to confidence speaking in front of groups, valuable for all kinds of work in a corporate setting, particularly in sales. Selling to K-12 customers has been a natural fit for many educators who find it easy to connect to and understand the needs of those they are serving. Training and instructional design roles have also proven to be a great use of education skills to design learning paths for employees and customers.

Who better to innovate for edtech companies than the teachers who have spent time in the K-12 classroom? The depth of experience and empathy for school-based professionals can be of tremendous value to edtech companies, who typically rely on building relationships with K-12 administrators to successfully grow their businesses.

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Kate Eberle Walker

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