Keep it real, teacher

Now that I’m out there networking, getting new clients, and talking to people about what I do, I have found that people react very differently depending on how I define myself.

In January the story was that I am helping GED classes from home. This garnered some sympathetic parenting advice and placed me in the category of a Momtrepeneur, someone who wants some extra cash while taking care of the kiddo. While spending time with my son is #1 in my life right now, once he became mobile and I got more clients, it was no longer possible for me to divide my attention. I started looking for child care options and changing my definition.

In May I started telling everyone that I started my own business. All of a sudden, I had unsolicited resumes and requests to do everything from cleaning to business plans. I didn’t like that either. I’m not going to be renting office space or raising venture capital any time in the foreseeable future. Business suits are not my style either, then.

So who am I? What do I tell people I am doing? My business is classified as educational consulting, but what does that mean? In essence, I was and always will be a teacher. Instead of teaching fractions, I’m teaching organizations how to teach fractions. Like a good teacher, I’m documenting my lesson plans so that other people can replicate what I’m doing. I’m always looking for the most affordable and memorable way to make my point. Most importantly, I’m always learning. I’m learning from other justice trailblazers how to keep the Beloved Community as the beginning and end of everything I do. I’m learning more effective educational resources. And I’m getting a glimpse at the network of people and institutions dedicated to overcoming our educational disparities and raising people from poverty to social inclusion.

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