Unlike most educators, I did not start out as a teacher. My goal as a child was to be a doctor and I achieved this goal almost thirty years ago and ultimately ran a highly successful sole-practitioner health practice treating thousands of patients at a rate almost 300 patients per week.
So why did I become a teacher? First, the word doctor comes from the Latin word, teacher. All doctors are teachers and I had always dreamed of one day teaching in a classroom setting. Second, I ran a highly data-driven, statistically managed office and staff until around 1998 (and most doctors will tell you this as well) when the insurance industry began to change, and not for the better. We were spending more time doing paperwork (sound familiar?) and just as much time treating patients. I never left the office. Something had to be sacrificed, either my practice, or my family. The data made the choice for me and told me it was time to move into my next career of teaching science. So for you teachers reading this who want to hear from someone who practices what he preaches, here I am. I left a very lucrative practice as a doctor to become a teacher based on a data-driven, statistically analyzed decision.
It was not easy at first. There were so many new things to learn and so many approaches to classroom management that I had a difficult time getting my “sea legs” and “bearings” in this new and very exciting field. I was lost, just as I was lost my first year in practice. (A must read blog.)
But I soon realized that running a classroom full of children – all with different strengths, desires for achievement, as well as weaknesses and concerns – was no different than the practice I had just sold. Once I realized this, I had a brainstorm. Why couldn’t I begin using the techniques and skills I used to build a successful practice from scratch in my classroom – and get my students to use them as well. (Please read why it is never too early to have students setting goals.)
The idea took off and the kids did as well! Next thing I knew other teachers were asking me where did I get my forms from (formats I used in business) and how do I implement my programs (through similar scripting I used in my practice.)
This led to the creation of The Business of School Teacher Practice Management Consultation. What I give you are the same ideas successfully used in business, tested in hundreds of classrooms and produced students with a greater appreciation for measuring success than ever before.