Educationists as CEOs?


There’s been some perception by employers that teachers and educationists are not suited for the corporate workplace since there are drastic differences. Some of them even hold the belief that only those individuals who could not cope with the workplace join the teaching profession.

This is untrue, because teaching is a calling, not a job.  I believe that most of the educationists who have chosen this career path do so out of their own choosing and it’s by no means circumstantial. Saying that it is due to the latter is doing all educationists an injustice. It’s precisely because of the fact that teaching is a calling and not a job that teaching is often considered a noble profession or rather, an ennobling profession.

An interesting question that follows will be: Are the job scope of educationists and teachers similar to that of a CEO? Some of us may find this question to be too far-fetched.  Well, I do feel that it’s a good case in point. I have read in a book that states that most teachers are “politicians-wannabe” but lack the confidence to do so. While I do not totally agree with the statement, I do concur with the fact that educationists do share the same desire and possess the same abilities as CEOs to carve out directions for others. Many similarities exist between a CEO and educationists. Let’s consider the following:

 –Carving a direction for others: While CEOs carve out direction for the organisation with the various departments executing the orders, educationists also carve out directions to guide their students and act as a mentor / coach in their academic development.

 – Leading through delegation and empowerment:  In recent years, CEO has been delegating work to the various departments and empowering their staff to enable the smooth operations of the organisation. Along the same vein, teachers and educationists also guide students in their academic work and with the recent changes in the educational systems, students are also empowered to be self-directed, lifelong learners and hence responsible for their academic research and assignments.

 – Raising revenue for the organisation: CEOs have often been tasked with raising profits for organisations. Teachers also have the responsibility to nurture the young and develop them into future successes, which is no mean feat and a noble undertaking as well. If one were to compare between the earning of revenues and people development, human capital seems to be the more worthy endeavour of the two.

Based on the abovementioned points, it can be seen that educationists are “CEOs” in their own right, each of them contributing their part to form a whole that is the educational institution itself.  Contribution from various educationists to pave the way for educational institutions also have the added advantage over a single CEO, where the latter has the higher probability of making mistakes since it’s almost a known fact that humans are all fallible. And dependency on a single individual to carve out a direction for companies may not be an ideal option.

Another point that is raised are the differences between a leader and manager. It has been said that leaders lead with a vision while managers execute tasks to complete assignments on time. So, are educationists leaders or managers? Since educationists’ interests and endeavours stay close to that of the CEO, it can be concluded that educationists are more of a CEO than a manager, since crafting of syllabus are equally important to the educationists as managing the marking of academic assignments.  Educationists also has the additional task of mentoring and coaching students, something that most CEOs do not have much time for.  Seen in this light, educationists’ contributions to society exceed the responsibilities of CEOs.

Ironically, there’s a great disparity in terms of monetary remuneration between educationists and that of CEOs. There’s a saying that states that in an ideal world, teaching should be the profession that all individuals should aspire to work in. However, recent research has shown that students are going for jobs in the banking and business sector. This is probably due to the consequences of living in a world where consumerism and capitalism reign.

It seems that education has been shrouded in the shadows of the pursuit of materialistic possession.


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