has been traditionally thought of as "women's work." It
has come to be regarded by many women as a female ghetto. When we
think of teaching as an occupation, we think of low salaries and
teaching is a profession which requires in most cases a college
degree and in many instances, graduate training. The skills and
knowledge involved in being a truly good teacher are on a par
with such esteemed professions as medicine and law. Were women
originally relegated to the classroom because it was a place that
men fear to tread -- or because we have inherent abilities that
make us good at it? Perhaps both.
today are learning a new lesson: that if the academic world has
lost its thrill, if they no longer feel challenged or gratified
in traditional teaching jobs, there is another place where they
can use those same skills and receive more money and recognition.
Corporate America has gone on a training frenzy, and good
instructors are in short supply.
international business world today is such that most firms must
provide specialized training to their employees in order to
increase productivity and effectiveness. Even newly hired workers
with MBAs, though possessing a good grasp of theory, lack the
skills needed to succeed in the typical fast-paced high-tech
skills, foreign languages, and writing skills top the list top
the list of areas where introductory, remedial or update training
are often deemed necessary. "People skills" are often
not addressed in formal academic programs but essential for a
company to grow and prosper. The government may require companies
to offer "sensivitity" or "awareness"
training pertaining to such matters as gender and racial issues,
sexual harrassment, or accomodating disabled workers. Even if
it's not mandated, businesses adopt training programs to reduce
their chances of problems in those areas and decrease their civil
hundreds of courses to be taught in the private sector, and a
high demand for people who are willing and able to teach them.
It's been said that fear of speaking before an audience is so
widespread that it ranks second only to fear of death. Teaching
any group requires the willingness and ability to stand up before
a roomful of people and articulate your ideas in an organized
fashion. Experienced teachers already have the most
difficult-to-attain qualification for entering the fast-growing
field of corporate training.
learning theory differs from childhood learning theory, but the
transition isn't difficult. If you're comfortable being the
center of attention in a classroom, if you enjoy making
presentations before a dozen or more people, if you like the
challenge of putting together a lesson plan that can speak to a
diverse group at varying levels of knowledge and experience, you
have what it takes to be a corporate trainer. And if you have
above-average skills in computer software operation, or teaching
Spanish, German, French or Japanese, you may be able to land a
job that pays several times your income in public sector or
private academic schools.
our children is an important job -- but many elementary and
secondary teachers "burn out" after many years on the
job. Some stay because they feel "stuck," believe they
aren't prepared to do anything else and don't want or can't
afford to attain the advanced degrees necessary to move to
teaching at the college level. Teaching adults in the business
world rarely requires more than a bachelor's degree; since the
concept of "corporate trainer" is still relatively new,
it's an area where you'll be judged based more on your actual
performance than on your "paper" credentials.
teachers who are longing for a change of pace, but don't want to
have to develop a whole new skillset, taking a look at the
corporate training field could be a valuable learning experience.
DEB SHINDER is a writer, editor and community college instructor who lives in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area with her husband, Thomas W. Shinder M.D. and her teenage son, Kristoffer.