This post is aimed at those completely new to the Enterprising Educator Community (post 18). You can find the accompanying podcast to this post here.
How does one become an educator? I guess through a multitude of avenues is the short answer, some are former or current entrepreneurs, others may be educational practitioners or business mentors, indeed you can even study how to become Enterprise Educator through designated Postgraduate courses such as the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education MA led by Coventry University.
There are literally thousands of books to read, videos to watch, podcasts to listen, people to follow and organisations to engage with. This whistle-stop tour will give you a flavour of how to begin to immerse yourself within the community.
What should I read?
Wow, where to start. My advice would be to look at some books which focus on how to start a business.
They don’t necessarily tell us how to teach somebody to start a business, but I think before we can teach, we need to have some of the tools and techniques required that those aspiring business owners may require.
Three books I really enjoyed reading which gave me a great and differing insight into what a prospective business owner should consider include The Start Up Playbook (Sam Altman), The Start Up Owner’s Manual (Steve Blank) and The Lean Start Up (Eric Reis). Details of all can be found within my recommended reading list.
What should I listen to?
There are hundreds of brilliant podcasts which can be informative as well as entertaining.
Many of them are US based but two UK produced programmes I find valuable are The Disruptive Entrepreneur by Rob Moore and The Bottom Line by Evan Davies. Neither are particularly academic based podcasts but more focused around the principals, challenges and benefits of entrepreneurship. Both give the listener the opportunity to hear from others about their journeys, their mistakes and their successes. It’s easy and enjoyable mainly weekly listening.
You can find details on my recommended podcasts list.
Tell me a brilliant website to visit!
OK- visit Teaching Entrepreneurship. It’s a brilliant resource. From lesson plans to assessment ideas, classroom tools to insightful videos, it literally has it all. It’s a simple website to navigate through and led by a guy called Doan Winkel (US based). I would absolutely recommend looking at the site for ideas and inspiration.
What organisations and groups should I involve myself in?
In the UK there is an ever-growing number of organisations of which you can join / engage with to become more familiar with the community. Many of these provide fantastic resources that you can use within your classroom as well as opportunities to network with others. Some of the key organisations I would suggest becoming involved with would be:
Enterprise Educators UK – The UK’s leading independent membership network for enterprise educators.
Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs – A dedicated professional learning institute specialising in business enterprise and business support.
Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship – A network for people and organisations involved in small business and entrepreneurship research, policy, education, support and advice.
National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education – Supports higher education to build its entrepreneurial future. It believes innovative and inspiring activities led by enterprising staff create graduates equipped for an ever-changing world.
Research in Enterprise Education (REntEd)– Launched as a collaboration between the ISBE and EEUK (see links above) this Community of Interest group is intended to explicitly link together the research and practice arms of the EntEd discipline.
All these organisations have various ways in which you can engage from membership to fellowship depending on your level of experience.
Who to follow?
My final piece of advice is Twitter! I love Twitter, I love LinkedIn as well but for different reasons. The main benefit to Twitter in my view is that you can follow the conversation of the people that you wish. You can create a timeline of information from those who interest you and keep this specific and without distraction (if you use Twitter lists).
Over the last 12 months I have started to engage myself with the Enterprise Educators Community on Twitter. Its active, lively, disruptive and often people have very different views, which keeps things more interesting! The debate is far ranging and allows for healthy disagreement. There are hundreds of interesting people to follow however twelve who I would recommend following include:
Give these guys a follow, its an interesting conversation and one which will link you quickly to others to follow who can inspire.
So that’s it. My quick guide to how to get going, best of luck and remember- read, listen and engage.