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Conversations with the Inspiring Timeri Tolnay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Timeri Tolnay.

Timeri, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My parents must have known that my future would lie in schoolhouses when I used to line up all the neighborhood children and teach them how to read. I’ve always cared more about education than any other social cause, as I see it as the best opportunity for creating equity and opportunity in this world. So twenty years after teaching, administrating and selling curriculum to educators myself, I’ve launched EdCuration, what promises to become the One Stop Curriculum Shop to help educators nation- and world-wide find high-quality curriculum resources.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth road? There is no such thing! I am proud of the fact that I’ve always navigated toward a goal, however, that hasn’t always been easy. The road of life contains bends, twists, and unexpected U-Turns, but I’ve found detachment and flexibility to be useful skills to practice to deal with life’s unexpected challenges. My advice for women along the way is to practice detachment: from everything that you think you know and expect. This will make flexibility possible and open opportunities that you didn’t expect.

What should we know about EdCuration? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
EdCuration is a two-sided, online curriculum market place that makes it easier for educators to find and adopt high-quality instructional products that meet their student learning needs. We also publish the podcast “Where Teachers Talk Curriculum,” and share about the resources that have created fresh, lively and authentic learning in their classrooms. I am proud of the fact that we are a majority-women owned business and offer responsive customer service. Finally, our founders have lived the lives of our customers, having worked as both educational leaders making curriculum purchasing decisions, as well as curriculum vendors, so we know first hand the challenges that our customers face and empathize with them in our solution design.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
Women in leadership struggle with balancing our desire to advance with our desire to make good on the promises we’ve made in our current position. This conflict makes it difficult to take advantage of new leadership opportunities and contributes to our lack of representation in leadership positions. The cultural value on traditional female qualities also stands in the way of our advancement. I was once told by a male boss who didn’t like any ideas that weren’t his own that I was too passionate (about education – go figure!), and I’ve worked in systems where the only women at the top were those who were more quiet and soft-spoken than their male counterparts. This creates an innate barrier to entry; how do we advocate for ourselves and our vision, while simultaneously trying to conform to the cultural gender norms of submissiveness? For women, career advancement becomes more of an art than a science, until you go rogue and launch your own company!

Pricing:

  • EdCuration is a free tool for educators seeking to find, compare, and procure new curriculum products, resources or tools.
  • EdCuration is free for Curriculum Vendors to promote one product.
  • Curriculum Vendors pay to promote additional products on our site.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Julia Morgan & Rachel Dunham

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