Using VentureLab curriculum, Maggie Miller teaches her 11-year-old nephew, Miller, virtually! Thinking like an entrepreneur herself, Maggie has adjusted the structure of the lessons to work with online learning in a new way. “This challenging time is a moment for us to ask ourselves: How can we be of service? What can I do or what I have access to serve?”
Check out our interview with Maggie below!
Name: Maggie Miller
Location: Austin, Texas
I teach: I am virtually teaching my nephew (in Waco), since school is now remote learning
Outside of teaching: I am an serial entrepreneur and have my own consulting businesses.
I teach because: I love the opportunity to help young people develop the mindset for entrepreneurial thinking. It’s been such a great opportunity to bring me closer to my nephew through these conversations and helping him chase towards his dreams of building a small business.
Favorite VentureLab activity: I love the set up on entrepreneurial mindset and specifically, the “mindset cards. I believe it’s really important to understand how we think and process in building and running our own businesses–where our strengths are and what we need to improve upon. Miller and I have had some great discussions sharing our mindset together, both as an adult entrepreneur and a young boy aspiring for a dream.
On preparing the curriculum for online learning
Since I’m teaching in a one-to-one context instead of with a group of his peers, I’m trying to be more vulnerable as his coach and teacher and share things like my own thoughts on my own strengths and weaknesses because I’m his primary partner as we’re learning now. Sometimes I’ll ask him to talk something through with his dad or mom, both of whom I know have different skills.
I usually send the videos for the curriculum ahead of time. It’s harder to watch them in real time while we’re learning virtually. I find it easier if he watches it and processes it ahead of time. When it comes up in the lesson, we talk about the video instead of pausing teaching to watch it. A lot kids don’t have their own phones at this age, so you have to consider what medium they have access to to watch content.
I also write a summary email or text to his parents about what we talked about and things I think they could really bring out in their conversations as a family who are obviously also homeschooling right now as well. I think this is a great idea for any teacher to help activate parents to talk about these things after school.
On how VentureLab helps kids reframe their thinking
I really like the beginning lessons because it’s a very patient setup to teach kids how to think, and to think about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I think a lot of kids today want the fast track and the easy route, but I like the way VentureLab sets up how you need to think and what that means for you. We did the mindset cards last week and it was really cool hearing him identify to me what he felt his strengths and weaknesses were.
Teaching what it means to observe and adapt is a great setup. I thought Miller would be wanting to skip ahead and get started, but he isn’t sure what he wants to do yet, so this is a great opportunity for him. I couldn’t look at it all (the curriculum) at the beginning but once I got into it and now going through it week by week I am building a relationship with him. I’m getting to talk about things that are important to him and to me. That’s feeding both of us in different ways.
On favorite activities so far and how she’s handled them virtually
I really liked the Marshmallow Challenge. I did it with Miller and one of his brothers, and I kept my video on and observed them the whole time. I found myself giving them little nudges to explain and plan before jumping into doing.
They didn’t have spaghetti (because they’d eaten it!) so I had them use straws. It’s an adaptation but it’s still fun, it’s still interesting, they still had to consider balance and building a base and height. Later on they tried it again with actual spaghetti, and it was a different experience. They really liked that!
Maggie downloaded the VentureLab curriculum for free and you can too! Want to bring entrepreneurial mindsets and skills to your learners?
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