Saturday, August 25, 2007

Teacher Entrepreneurs

You know how they say that teaching is a noble profession. I’m not about to argue with that. In fact, I love teaching and I did teach for two years while working as an HR officer for a school. I admit that I liked teaching better than the emotional mayhem of employee office intrigue that struck my office on a daily basis. So why didn’t I choose to pursue teaching?

After two years of excruciating spider veins and hoarse vocal chords, all I had was the so called psychological fulfillment benefit of teaching (which is really debatable because I personally know teachers who confuse fulfillment with the satisfaction of knowing that they finally know better than a whole classroom full of people). I had mouths to feed; I wasn’t earning well and I wasn’t about to go through the beaten path of supplemental earning. It’s not because I have any real moral qualms about it. It’s really because I’ve never been good at selling.

I remember my husband’s stories about studying in a public school. They were expected to buy from their teacher’s hidden store of edible merchandise. My husband was at a better position than his classmates. He was the designated seller (and was therefore entitled to leftover freebies) while his teacher diverted the attention of the roving principal.

Unlike my husband, I studied in a private school and vending to students and parents is strictly prohibited in most private schools. Of course, I know better now. Private school teachers don’t sell food like some public school teachers do and they definitely don’t sell to students unless they’d like to get a one way ticket to unemployment. Some private school teachers however inconspicuously carry glossy Avon, Sara Lee and Natasha catalogs while principals, coordinators and HR officers (like me) discreetly look the other way or even secretly place orders themselves.

Okay so there’s nothing inherently wrong with a teacher selling during her free time but they didn’t have to if they were paid right.

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