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- Band-Aiding The Mental Health of Our Children - November 23, 2018
- We Must Love Them - November 5, 2018
- Take One For the Team: The Need for Self-Care - August 19, 2018
- The New Teacher Smell - August 19, 2018
When I wrote about starting a school four years ago, I never dreamed I would continually get a steady stream of emails from teachers who were either embarking on the journey or thinking of undertaking this huge calling to buck the system and branch out on their own. But here I am four years later, staring at four emails today (not to the mention the ones from earlier in the week) from teachers, three of which are panicked and one who is trying to decide if she should take the plunge or not. So I though I would address the top three questions I get from all of these emails I get, including the ones sitting in my mailbox right now.
You see, starting your own school isn’t rocket science. You don’t need to solve some huge formula or get a ton of permission to hang out your own shingle. You simply have to make the decision that you are done with the current system of education and that you are ready to blaze the pathway to change, doing it your way. Once you’ve gotten off the fence and made that decision, then hang on for the roller coaster ride that will ensue. It’s not difficult, it’s time consuming and exhaustive, but so very worth every minute you will spend on it.
So this brings me to the first big question I get asked: “I’m sick/tired/fed up with the way my system is run. I’ve checked into setting up my own school and it’s legal, albeit with a ton of red tape. I just don’t know if I should do it or not.”
I’m a bit of a rebel, so when this question is posed it’s a no-brainer to me: hell, yes, buck that system with everything you’re made of. But I know not everyone has that mind frame, so to those who are on the fence I say: hell, yes, buck that system! If the thought has crossed your mind enough to research it and send an email, take Nike to heart and ‘just do it.’ You will never know how successful you could be if you never take that first step. You don’t have to start out with some over populated fancy school building. Get your ducks in a row and proceed carefully. It can be done.
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The second question I always get comes to funding. This one is a bit more cut and dry: either you have the cash and assets to back your own place, you’ve been able to get a SBA loan or you have filed as a non-profit and you have sponsors funding you financially, or you are pursuing accreditation and will have partial funding from tax money. And you will have money coming in from tuition as well, if you choose to go that route. The funding will happen if you truly want your school to materialize. You’ll turn over every rock if you are truly as fed up about the current educational situation as you say you are.
Finally the third question that seems to burn up each email I get is: What if it doesn’t work?
This one is hard. There are so many ways I want to answer this question, swaying people to roll with my rebellious side, but I know in reality not everyone is as much of a risk taker as I am and not everyone can just say “screw it, I’m done.” So I usually tread lightly here, knowing that even after the long conversation I’ve had with a person through email, this final answer will either make or break the recipient’s decision. When this question is posed I try to leave it as open-ended as possible, my response going back to the quote by Erin Hanson, “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” I’m so much of the belief that you’ll never know what’s out there unless you give it a chance, no matter what is at stake. If I believe in something so severely that I am looking for drastic changes and solutions, then I want to reach my full potential and will do what is necessary to be the best I can be. I’m a firm believer in not complaining, but figuring out a solution to solve the problem. However, again, I know that some people have a much stronger analytical and logical thought process than I do, so I will simply answer this question with my experience, hoping that it won’t be the defining factor for such a huge decision: 14 years of success and still going.You’ll never know what’s out there unless you give it a chance, no matter what is at stake. Click To Tweet
As with anything, be passionate about what you do, and if that passion drives you to the consideration of opening your own place, you’ve got my email if you need that extra push.