Dan Jackson is an experienced reflective learner and strategic thinker with an ongoing track record of innovative, adaptive leadership in education and business management.
Dan is a high school business and marketing instructor in North Carolina where his students experience entrepreneurial pathways. He professes that he develops thinkers and doers, not test-takers. After all, thinkers and doers drive innovation.
About your story growing up
I was a professional zip code collector from the time I was 9 to 39; 5 states in 30 years, the longest of which was Carmel, Indiana from 2004-2014. Then back close to home where I met my wife, barely graduated high school, and graduated USC Cum Laude. Then we married and worked for three years in the great Carolinas!
What it was like for you as a student
I have very few memories of me as a student from 1st grade to graduation. I generally remember school as a drag. I’d spend more energy making excuses for why I couldn’t go. If the same amount of energy was directed to learning, whoa! This is likely one of the reasons I wanted to become an educator; to help young people create positive memories of their education. Learning should be fun, joyful and memorable.
I regularly do value clarification. This year I was inspired to do it from a book recommendation from Tom Hudock, Teaching For Purpose by Heather Malin. There is a great exercise in which the first step is to identify those things that matter the most to you. Without question, it is my family.
I am determined to create a better balance between education and family, for my family’s sake. I have been happily married to my HS sweetheart for 28 years and we have two wonderful teenage boys that are very different, yet compatible. My oldest, Devon, is about to start his Sophomore year at his mother and my alma mater, USC. Our younger one, Ayden is about to start the HS at which his brother left a “real” and “positive” legacy. Ayden will leave his own legacy that he makes, not one that he emulates.
Your first career
Sales and marketing career began when my mom kicked me out of the house after I dropped out of college. Sold clothes during the day and waited tables at night. That is sales and marketing, with the pressure on you at 19 when you have to pay the rent and buy your meals.
Your journey as an educator
My wife reminded me this past June, “you told me at our senior prom dinner you were seriously considering becoming a teacher, but you didn’t think it was correct to teach something you’ve never done and the corporate world had a lot of allure.”
Ted Talk: Hands-On Learning Turns Minds On. | Daniel Jackson | TEDxRaleigh
Your entrepreneur class
Since day one of my formal teaching career, I have been teaching hands-on. I was a student teacher at Carmel High School in Indiana. When assigned, my mentors I asked them if I could have total control of the class with their close supervision. They agreed! Those Carmel HS juniors and seniors worked a semester-long, marketing plan for a brand of their choosing.
I was given a temporary position that had opened up when a teacher left. I took over in January his year-long classes, International Business, and Entrepreneurship. I asked where the Entrep sections were in their business plans. They looked at me with blank stares and said, “what business plan?” I got them energized.
15 years of experience with Hands-on Learning, I’m convinced it is the best way. Here’s a picture of the 2019 DECA Trophy Winners.
Your Mission to create a S.P.I.R.I.T.E.D. Environment
My mission is to provide a S.P.I.R.I.T.E.D. learning environment in which students feel comfortable and confident to strive for their very best.
What a student wrote about Mr. J’s class:
Your non-profit ASaP
“For all students, at every age, to look forward to going to school and learning. Our vision is for classrooms of all ages to focus on fostering creative confidence and developing self-directed, reflective, lifelong learners.”
“To nurture student’s curiosity and creativity through building culture and community one classroom at a time.”
I see the positive impact of experiential education and the detrimental effects on the mental health of text, test, repeat, chase the points, get the GPA to get into the college of someone else’s choosing syndrome. ASaP intends to spread the word of the benefits of Experiential Entrepreneurship Education to all stakeholders, for all stakeholder benefits. Entrepreneurship is for everyone, everywhere; how can we embed it in the education system?
Curriculum on Experiential Entrepreneurship Education
Dan shared, “The context of the picture in the graphic at the top is me at Downtown Disney in Anaheim during the 2017 ICDC for DECA. The Pooh was bought for me by a young learner.”
Dan Jackson is an experienced reflective learner and strategic thinker with an ongoing track record of innovative, adaptive leadership in education and business management. Dan is a high school business and marketing instructor in North Carolina where his students experience entrepreneurial pathways. He professes that he develops thinkers and doers, not test-takers. After all, thinkers and doers drive innovation. He has ten plus years of sales, marketing, and management experience in a variety of industries across four states. A Senior Account Executive in Michigan, Manager of Materials Administration/Operations Planning in North Carolina, Business Development Analyst in Pennsylvania, and Marketing Support Assistant in South Carolina.
Dan now has fifteen years as an innovative, student-centered, community-supported, celebrated high school business and marketing instructor. He is a recognized leader in the integration of character education in the business curriculum. While in Indiana, Dan was Adjunct Professor for the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He also presided over the MSDLT Business Community Advisory Board to improve MSDLT work-learning linkages. Dan is now working closely with NC State’s Poole College of Management and is an Educator in Residence mentoring graduate students to help commercialize the technology. It is this same MBA curriculum that Dan blends the NCDPI Entrep I Honors Curriculum. Most recently Dan completed collaborative work as a team member of the state’s marketing curriculum. Beginning summer 2019, Dan will be working with state and national leaders in developing curriculum and pedagogy for experiential entrepreneurship education.
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