Former Teachers Who Found a Second Career in Sales

Former Teacher Area Directors
It’s back-to-school season and we want to give props to our teachers who are diligently and selflessly making all the things happen! Many of our Area Directors came from a teaching background, and they found flexibility and financial freedom in a second career through local advertising sales and uniting their communities. 

 

Now, instead of delegating, organizing, and shaping young minds, these teachers-turned-Area Directors are using the same skills they learned in the classroom to help local businesses reach their ideal clients. They were drawn to the role for different reasons, but many former teachers have found similarities between the two roles. Hear their experiences and what motivates them to excel whether in teaching or their local advertising sales role – hint: sometimes it feels very similar. 

 

Macy Knoble, Area Director in Wilmington, NC
Former Kindergarten TeacherArea Director with her family.

What was your favorite part about being a teacher?

Hands down, my students. They were the heart and soul behind anything I did. I taught Kindergarten, and swear I could write a book of the comical, sweet, and wild things that were said to me on a daily basis. They were pure magic, so sincere, and absolutely hilarious.

 

Are there any aspects of teaching that have helped you as an Area Director?

So many, I’m not even sure where to begin. My organizational skills came from managing a classroom of 25 kids (and the parents that came with them!). My deadline structure from content to ads runs smoothly due to the systems I put in place. I manage my clients like I did my students, meaning that I don’t look at my list and bundle their needs into one. I can really compartmentalize each client, and assess and assist each individual goal.

I truly understand what the ‘thinking’ process looks like in a meeting (very similar to guided reading time and helping my kiddos work through words). Sometimes it just takes a little time to ‘click.’ Oh, and the thematics! Don’t think that as a former kindergarten teacher my publication is not full of thematics (for example, I’m showing all of the Halloween content in October, but also featuring my dentist because those kiddos need to remember to brush their teeth after all of that candy!).

 

What do you think are the best qualities in a teacher?

Their selflessness. They are incredibly reliable – they show up day in and day out and get the job done, no matter the circumstances. They are dependable (let’s face it, we are all just a bunch of rule followers). And, my gracious, are they grateful. I used to get so excited when I was gifted a new book and a box of glue sticks for my classroom. Most of the time I didn’t have two pennies to rub together, but I didn’t care. I loved those kids so much!

 

What made the Area Director role desirable to you?

Prior to teaching, I worked at the N2 Home Office, so I was very familiar with the ins and outs of this role. When I knew that I hit the end of the road in my teaching career, the Area Director role was a no-brainer. I thought if I had children, I would want to volunteer in their classrooms. I want to read books in their class on Fridays dressed up as the character from the story. I want to come in at Christmas time and make ornaments with their class. I want to buy their teacher glue sticks and Clorox wipes. And I knew the AD role would give me that flexibility (and financial freedom, because man, those glue stick costs add up!) if I put the sweat equity in now. 

When I interviewed for this role, Steve West (the Sales Director at the time) looked at me and said “Macy, this will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.” Without a beat, I said, 

“Steve, until you’ve taken 150 first graders to the aquarium on a self-guided tour, in May, before a long weekend, with two parent volunteers and five teachers…. this will never be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” 

Former Teacher Area Directors

 

Emily Gilmartin, Area Director in Maineville, OH
Former K-12 Physical Education and Health, Special Education Teacher

What was your favorite part about being a teacher?  

I loved being able to teach my students how to play different sports along with showing them that body movement is the key to a person’s health for the rest of their lives.

 

Are there any aspects of teaching that have helped you as an Area Director? 

Absolutely. Every Area Director needs to be a student of their trade to make them better.  

 

Are there any similarities between teaching and your role now?

There are definitely similarities between teaching and being an Area Director. I help teach all my clients that advertising in our publications is necessary because they are being seen by their correct demographics. I used to coach several different sports and being able to have my students in front of the right person is huge. It is hard for an athlete or a salesperson to succeed if they are not in front of the right person whether it is a scout or the marketing person of a large company. 

 

What do you think are the best qualities in a teacher? 

The best qualities in a teacher are patience and also being a good listener. You have to have both of these so that you can get to the end result of what needs to be accomplished.

 

What made the Area Director role desirable to you? 

The number one reason I’m in this role is the flexibility of being able to set my own schedule. I have been a teacher, worked in corporate, and by far this is the best role I have ever had because of that reason. I like being able to be my own boss, but I also like having the support of everyone at N2. I never want to retire.  

 

Robert Walraven, Area Director in El Paso, Texas
Former Special Education Teacher & Middle School Math Teacher

What was your favorite part about being a teacher?

My favorite part of being a teacher was the opportunity to inspire students to learn in different ways. 

 

Are there any aspects of teaching that have helped you as an Area Director?

Teaching helped me with my communication skills, and the ability to articulate an idea has helped immensely now that I’m an Area Director.

 

Are there any similarities between teaching and your role now?

Educating my students and now business partners on how the marketing and relationship process works. Ultimately I am still helping another human out!

 

What do you think are the best qualities in a teacher?

Patience, kindness, and understanding people and their differences. These are all some of the best traits in a teacher and an Area Director.

 

What made the Area Director role desirable to you?

I still have the opportunity to teach in a different area, while creating a better work-life balance and financial balance for myself.

 

 

Reggiana Martin, Area Director in Chattanooga, TN
Former 6th Grade Math Teacher

What was your favorite part about being a teacher?

I loved making connections, building trust, and opening lines of communication with the students. They set the tone of the classroom and the flow of my teaching. I loved making math come alive for my students!

 

Are there any aspects of teaching that have helped you as an Area Director?

The organization and planning aspects of teaching are such an important element of being an Area Director. Having the ability to keep all the balls in the air in order and moving them along accordingly makes the days run more smoothly.

 

Are there any similarities between teaching and your role now?

Both teaching and being an Area Director are in the field of service. We are serving different people and different needs, but both serve the needs of many people. Both also serve as problem solvers. In teaching, you must figure out how to reach each student where they are in regards to the subject being taught that day, week, or month.

As an Area Director, we are also trying to figure out how to meet our business partners where their needs are in regard to their business and our residents. As to being a problem solver and one of the services for our residents, I could go on for days. This role is such a huge opportunity to shine the light of the Lord every day in how we conduct ourselves, speak to our residents, handle conflict, and what we share in our publications.

 

What do you think are the best qualities in a teacher?

Like in any profession, it takes all kinds of different types of people and personalities to make a school successful. I am not sure “teachers” all have the same qualities that can be lumped into one category as the best. I would like to say the qualities of the best teachers are their care for the children and, of course, their ability to work long hours.

 

What made the Area Director role desirable to you? 

The role was desirable to me because of the opportunity to serve a large number of people. I have a servant’s heart and love to be around people, helping people, and connecting people. The flexible hours are not bad either!

 

 

Denise Thompson, Area Director and Region Manager in Phoenix, AZArea Director, former teacher
Former Spanish K-12 Teacher

What was your favorite part about being a teacher? 

Impacting the youth and encouraging them to value education and to stretch their minds!

 

Are there any aspects of teaching that have helped you as an Area Director? 

Tolerance and acceptance of varying personalities, as well as planning and calendar blocking.

 

Are there any similarities between teaching and your role now?

As an RM (Region Manager), there are many similarities as my role is to influence other Area Directors while encouraging growth and adherence to processes.

 

What do you think are the best qualities in a teacher? 

Patience, kindness, acceptance, fairness, dealing with parents with gentleness.

 

What made the Area Director role desirable to you? 

Income potential, freedom, and the opportunity to build something great.

 

 

Julie Udall, Area Director in Scottsdale, AZ
Former 3rd – 8th Grade TeacherArea Directors are Teachers

What was your favorite part about being a teacher?

The kids! I also enjoyed watching them learn and master objectives so we could celebrate together.

 

Are there any aspects of teaching that have helped you as an Area Director?

It’s hard to say exactly since I’ve developed so many skills as a teacher that I’m sure I utilize as an AD, but an important one would be being able to think on my feet and articulate well. I also think I use time management skills and conflict resolution skills.

 

Are there any similarities between teaching and your role now? 

I always say that I put together newsletters for my class all the time and also worked hard to celebrate successes with my students. As an Area Director, I gather content and celebrate with the community. I get to celebrate their accomplishments or the things they love. A little like show and tell in the classroom, which kids and my residents absolutely love.

 

What do you think are the best qualities in a teacher?

The best teachers are patient, good listeners, great facilitators, able to provide positive strokes, and empower others.

 

What made the Area Director role desirable to you?

I was drawn to the culture aspect of N2 at first. I also like the flexibility in my schedule and the ability to work toward an income level that I would like.

 

Thank you to all the teachers and former teachers out there who have been educating young minds and changing lives. We hope you have a great school year ahead!

 

FEELING A NUDGE?

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