So I taught highschoolers professionally for five years, and now I’m running a startup software business.  The biggest difference, even bigger than the reduction in human contact, is the stress of competition.  As a teacher, I shared everything I learned, put it right on the internet, even, and expected others to do the same.  As a programmer with a plan for a great grade-reporting program (bee tee dubs: it’s looking great), I can’t put my ideas out there very much, because two programmers might take it and get a jump on me.  I have people sign a 3-page legal document before I talk to them about my ideas.

It’s disgusting.

Current teachers: relish the chances for collaboration you have.  I don’t really know much about merit pay and other forms of rank that might be imposed on you, but the freedom to share your very best ideas with another person who can appreciate them is sacred.  I didn’t realize it until it was too late.

4 thoughts on “Competition”

  1. You just have to share in a different way! More like in a Gypsy Rose Lee way… enough to make ’em come back and see if they are gonna ‘see’ more!

    Because although it’s true the sharks are swimming about, so is your true audience, your customers, and they want to hear what you have to say, and you need to hear what they have to say!

    And, you don’t want to close down… you don’t want to miss any opportunity for a true business collaboration, either! The ‘tease’ might draw some interest form quarters you didn’t expect!

    (yes, we homeschool – as mentioned in a prior comment or two – but we own a small business, too, so I get it!)

  2. Having worked as a software entrepreneur for 20+ years, I can attest to how wonderful it now is to be able to share math teaching ideas freely and without worrying about non-compete clauses.

    Glad you had a chance to experience that, even if only for 5 or so years. Most people who work in the private sector in American *never* get to experience that — and they’re the poorer for it (intellectually and spiritually, if not financially).

    1. Haha, yes, I suspect _not_ financially.

      I think I’ll have to get back to a place where I can be so open eventually, one way or another. It’s very exciting to be competing, but it’s wearing on me.

      Thanks for the comment!

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