Teachers Are Project Managers

I realize many of my posts this week have looked at how project management skills can develop in a non-business setting. This is mostly because I have been preparing to take a certification exam in project management, trying to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. I may not go through with the third test, and just let me certification level sit, but I really haven’t decided yet.

As I was reading one of the books, though, I was looking at the description of certain processes and thinking, ‘Wow! That’s a skill I learned in my teacher prep program,’ or, ‘I gained that skill through hard work at the museum.’ It was really interesting.

Teachers are one of those very underestimated groups. Each teacher has to be able to create programs with no real knowledge of the audience (students) they’ll be presenting to. They have to prepare resources, in the hopes those resources will be the right ones. Then, they have to be able to change course mid-stream if the original plan doesn’t work out. (For newer teachers, this requires having a back-up plan. For those who teach in cultural institutions, that requires over-planning and then designating what is crucial to a workshop, and what is going above and beyond.)

Teachers have to be everything. Even when they create a classroom environment that supports student exploration and peer teaching, they have to know where the class is going, and be able to guide them there in a timely manner relying on whatever resources are on-hand. Teachers are problem-solvers with a good deal of creativity. It’s not an easy career, and you really do have to absolutely love it to be able to do it well.

One of these days, I’m going to develop a fact sheet about myself that is going to detail the unusual way I acquired skills in project management, training, and technical writing.

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