Learning, when coupled with the right kind of resources, and the right kind of teachers can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of a student’s life.
Featuring for the Enterprise World’s this issue of The Most Successful Business Leaders to Watch in 2023 is Brittany Cufaude, an entrepreneur transforming learning experiences by creating joyful classrooms.
Leading the Way, Joyfully-
“I am a teacher at heart and entered the classroom at 22.”
Brittany Cufaude began teaching ESL to mothers and children at a women’s shelter and then her teaching trajectory took her through pretty much every level of K-12 education. Her personal teaching expertise is in literacy, improving reading outcomes in high-poverty schools, building healthy team cultures, culturally responsive pedagogy, and multilingual education, which Brittany Cufaude playfully notes is a mouthfull of of EDU jargon.
Brittany Cufaude has been in the education field for about two decades now. Brittany Cufaude is the CEO of Joyful Classrooms, a public speaker, consultant, and coach.
“I develop professional development throughout the world.”
Brittany Cufaude’s greatest and most worthwhile achievement is knowing that she is helping and guiding educators to maximize their potential. Folks who are not in education don’t understand what it means to do this work.
“We sacrifice a lot. If I can help teachers feel more confident in their practice, and help them earn more money, I count that as a win.”
Founding Joyful Classrooms-
Joyful Classrooms does many things, but ultimately its mission is to change the world through teachers and children through learning products and excellent resources in their education marketplace. They have a multi-vendor site that serves as a resource hub for educators.
Joyful Classrooms’ differentiator is that they also employ a SAS model wherein they leverage industry to create products that align with cutting-edge learning science and evidence-based best practices, which are user-friendly and make teaching and learning easy.
It is critical to note that teaching and learning are not easy, hence our current outcomes in education. They also track user-end data to monitor the efficacy of their products to learn the impact they are having on learning, equity in classrooms, and just about every aspect of making classroom learning rich, human, and places both teachers and students thrive, belong, and find purpose, joy, and humanity.
Challenges Along the Way-
To be an entrepreneur you have to be pretty crazy and get started on something you have never seen. That means tackling the inferiority complex and just getting started. But being a very vision-driven person, that was the easy part.
The hard part for though was connecting vision to what will work, what is consumable, and what will attract folks who are driven to tackle and remain inspired and engaged in the education mission, the day-to-day.
The Growth Quotient-
“I named my company Joyful Classrooms because most children are sitting in classrooms for a vast number of their waking lives.”
It is hard to say what folks outside of education imagine when they think of what life inside the classroom is actually like for most teachers and students. This is devastating, it is harming teachers and children, and it has to change. And critically, the path to joy in education is actually radically different than most people think. Joy in classrooms occurs when high levels of learning, both intellectual and emotional, occur.
So, the success hinges on providing educators with what has the highest impact on learning but in a way that can be implemented easily and feasibly.
“People love that about our work.”
Their Products and Services-
Joyful Classrooms turn the spotlight onto gifted teachers and experts in the field of education. The market and the internet are saturated with educational materials and resources to support teachers. The problem is, that you have no idea what you are getting or whether it is best for learning.
“We exist to change that.”
Also, the organization supports their content creators. They offer them the Side-Hustle Course, which teaches educators and aspiring content creators how to be an entrepreneur, and how to build a brand, a business, and a consumer base. The company is invested in its humans, evoking purpose, and changing the world through maximizing learning. This is what sets them apart.
The Next Big Thing-
Brittany Cufaude and her team have always been focused on achieving specific and measurable goals. They realize that growth can only be sustainable if it is based on the needs of the clients. Therefore, they constantly monitor feedback from them to see what new training, services, or perks they may be looking for. When they identify a demand, they act to make sure that they can meet it.
“This philosophy has allowed us to maintain a steady rate of growth.”
Joyful Classrooms offers a variety of services to educators, parents, and students. Their consulting services provide highly reviewed and researched educational strategies to fellow educators. The marketplace offers high-impact, vetted, and evidence-based teacher created resources and educational materials for teachers, parents, and students.
The classes for educators include meditation, marketing, branding, and running your own business.
“Our mission is to provide one source of trusted materials and eliminate the dumping ground of “educational” resources on the internet.”
The organization functions to align with the principle that instructional minutes are precious and too few, thus what students use for learning and practice should be exceptional. In everything they do, they strive to joyfully support the success of educators and students alike.
Brittany Cufaude’s Take on the Competition-
“Competition is both real and illusory. To me, I look at competition as an opportunity to learn about human behaviour, however, I don’t engage my ego nor do I build this culture within my organization. I believe this is always bad for business.
And, we are watching company after company falling from grace because I think ultimately somewhere along the way they lost their humanity. We are ultimately all one. So, if a consumer goes elsewhere for something I offer, I would love to know everything about that as an opportunity to see how what I offer could potentially improve.
But, I am also totally at ease with the idea that in life, sometimes others do it better. So, I release myself and my organization from the stress of competing for competition’s sake. We do what we do really well. We do it from the heart. We do it sustainably and reflectively. We do it humanely. And I sleep very well at night with that.”