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5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Glean From Their Kids' K-12 Teachers

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Before transitioning into corporate learning and development, I was a classroom teacher in Canada for almost a decade. I spent most of that time teaching Spanish and English to high school students, but I also held stints as a grade coordinator (in the United States, an attendance counselor) and coached both girls and boys in basketball.

Related: Looking for a Brand Ambassador? Hire a Teacher.

When I moved to the private sector, a well-meaning manager advised me to keep my teaching background on the down-low; otherwise, my corporate colleagues might see me as “soft” from having spent so much time around kids. I was also told my teaching experience “didn’t count” in the business world. Ouch; that hurt.

But the irony is that in short order, I found the situation to be just the opposite.

That's why every day of my corporate life, I've applied lessons I learned as a high school educator. I'd even go so far as to say that teaching was the best preparation for the toughest challenges I've faced outside the classroom.

Here are just a few of the many relevant skills and strategies teachers use that would benefit entrepreneurs, too.

Most people, when asked to name a teacher who had a positive impact, don’t cite the one who let sloppiness slide, gave hints during a test or handed out second and third chances liberally. On the contrary, kids respect and thrive most from their exposure to teachers who are tough but fair and who have high but realistic expectations.

It’s the same at work. Employees want to know where they stand and how they can continue improving. They’ll perform best in a culture where it’s safe to make mistakes because they are supported and given the resources to learn and grow.

Related: 6 Companies That Are Teaching........

© Entrepreneur

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