Supported by an ongoing drive to develop more generative programs aimed at preparing students for sustainable vocations, career and technical education teachers will always be needed. They are responsible for providing scholars with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter an occupation. In some schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District, instructors are actively cultivating the intellectual and inventive abilities of young innovators and entrepreneurs.
Sujata Bhatt is a sixth grade humanities teacher, who holds a Master of Arts degree in history. The University of Pennsylvania alumna has made it her mission to help provide a forward-thinking foundation for gifted and talented youth.
"Our team is growing an institution that grows humans in a rapidly changing world, which is a fairly complex task," said Bhatt, founder of The Incubator School. "I've had terrific education that's prepared me for complex tasks, such as how to get knowledge, sort, sift and synthesize it and then create and communicate something new."
Why did you become a career-minded educator?
"I grew up in India, where there is an enormous gap between the haves and have-nots, something we see increasingly in the United States, as well. Education creates the possibility of a different, more equal future."
How circuitous was your career pathway?
"Life is too short to do one thing. I've been a medieval historian, playwright, director, stock trader and an adviser to tech startups. All these adventures have stretched my capacity to create, collaborate and take risks to make something out of nothing, which is what entrepreneurs and founders do."
What are you doing to further sharpen your skills?
"In a startup, you do whatever it takes, and that means learning whatever it takes – from social media and web design to business development, cognitive neuroscience and robot morphology. I read broadly and voraciously. I try new things and pay close attention to the interests and disinterests of the kids."
What is your message to educators working with young entrepreneurs?
"I advise teachers to be mindful. They must build on what's working and redesign what's not, and avoid getting run over by bureaucracies."
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
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