Episode 5: Teachers & Education: Geoff Millener; Teacherpreneurs Jenise Fletcher, Lisa Blakely, Dan Basler, & Drew Akins



About the Episode

Host Monty Bruell meets with Geoff Millener of Chattanooga’s Public Education Foundation, the developers of Teacherpreneur.  Geoff will reveal the secret sauce of this and other programs that PEF uses to produce better outcomes for schools, teachers, and students. Bruell also visits with Jenise Fletcher, Lisa Blakely, Dan Basler, and Drew Akins, representing the highest placing teams in this year’s Teacherpreneur event.  Once you hear the creativity and passion of these teachers, you will be excited about the future of public education.

Check out this episode!

Some thoughts behind Ep. 5: Public Education and Entrepreneurship

When I was in school, I’m pretty sure that I never thought about my teachers starting businesses.  For that matter, I’m also pretty sure that the school never encouraged them to do so.  Well, times have changed, and many teachers have become extremely entrepreneurial.

 

In fact, in Chattanooga, TN, more than 60 teams of teachers recently participated in Teacherpreneur, an annual program that helps teachers develop and launch business ideas— all within the span of a single weekend.  Many of these business ideas are about much more than making money.  Educators use the program to solve real world problems or take advantage of opportunities that challenge them everyday in their classrooms.

 

Of course, the Teacherpreneur teams would like for their ideas to become million dollar businesses, but that really isn’t the point.  What is powerful about this process is that it empowers teachers to use entrepreneurship to solve their own problems (and those of other teachers just like themselves).  And, let me tell you… Empowerment is contagious!

 

One of my main criticisms of the traditional public school hierarchy is that power and authority are concentrated at the top.  By the time you get to the classroom–the point of product delivery— you’re dealing with the least powerful representative of the system, the teacher.  What message does this send to students? Why should we expect teachers to make our kids feel valued and empowered when we don’t value and empower teachers?  This makes no sense.  So when teachers are encouraged to be entrepreneurial and grab the bull by the horns, this sends a wonderful, positive message to their students that they are capable of doing the same.

 

On this episode of Studio Next, I will talk with Geoff Millener of Chattanooga’s Public Education Foundation, the developers of Teacherpreneur.  Geoff will reveal the secret sauce of this and other programs that PEF uses to produce better outcomes for schools, teachers, and students.  I will also visit with Jenise Fletcher, Lisa Blakely, Dan Baler, and Drew Akins, representing the highest placing teams in this year’s Teacherpreneur event.  Once you hear the creativity and passion of these teachers, you will be excited about the future of public education.

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