Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Become Brand You: Teacher's Edition
Don't try to be someone or something you are not. Embrace and celebrate who you are and what you bring to the school, to the students, and to the community at-large.
Know your subject area and what methodologies and technology tools and platforms are your wheelhouse. If lecturing isn't your thing, don't do it. Build your practice around what brings out your best. Also, keep your portfolio up to date and take full advantage of the Web 2.0 and Social Media tools that are available.
From publishing a blog to video taping a mini lesson for Youtube, developing a consistent and recognizable web presence demonstrates to other educators and future employers your areas of expertise. In addition, it is an excellent way to build a dynamic PLN.
Don't be afraid to be who you are. Be wacky. Be strong. Be exuberant. Be challenging. Be empowering. Bring everything you are to the forefront. Don't try to package yourself like a product. We all are puzzles in which different pieces of our personalities make up who we are. Let who you show the world be a true reflection of everything you are.
Be a Resource
Share your expertise with fellow teachers, parents, administrators, and the community. Volunteer at youth programs. Tutor at communal or religious institutions. Publish a news letter. Utilize the web. Take every opportunity to share what you know and learn with others.
Be Committed to Personal and Professional Growth and Development
Take a class. Go to a conference. Earn a degree. Get in shape. Join a Ning or a group in an area of interest to you. Seek out opportunities to make your best self even better.
Go on vacation or trying something fun and new. Why not finally learn how to salsa dance? Go ahead and take that cooking class you always wanted to take. Write that book you've been thinking about. Create a list of the things that invigorate your spirit and make it happen. The idea is to stay renewed and in the presence of mind to be who were meant to be.
Are you where you want to be in your career? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Think about where you want to go and start making the necessary plans to get there. It may mean going back to school, changing grade levels, changing positions, or moving to another school. The answer is inside of you. If you need some help, there are excellent career coaches out there, and I suggest that you conduct a few informational interviews with people who are doing what you are interested in doing.
Begin each day like it is the first day of school. Don't harbor feelings of ill will towards your students, your administration or your students parents. As Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world." So challenge your students. Encourage your students. Empower your students. Be their tour guide to the possibilities. You never know whose life you're gonna impact. So make every word, every smile, every breath count.
Be thankful for your life, for your gifts, and that you are a part of the noblest professions in the world. No one ever becomes anything without the assistance of a teacher. Remember that when you're feeling down and unappreciated. Know deep down that your job isn't a job but a calling and a mission to inspire your students to live their best lives. And when people ask you what you do, with pride and with gratitude, you tell them that you are a teacher!