Growing up I wanted to be a teacher, and I thought the only thing one had to do was get your degree. Now as an adult I am realizing how necessary it is to self-brand myself to stand out in the crowd of teachers applying for a job. As we talked in class on March 31st, “authenticity is an important concept in self-branding.” I think authenticity as a teacher falls under the balance idea we talked about in class. One needs to manage their authenticity through finding a balance in including personal information with their professional content. I think this because your personality will be on display 24/7 when teaching students. You will need to be authentic in your brand you create because it will be easy to see through that when observing you in your classroom.
Like I mentioned above, self-branding can set you apart from other applicants. As Franchesca Warren from theeducatorsroom.com states, “teachers have to build their
brands so they aren’t dependent on a district to validate their professionalism.” It is important to build your own brand by yourself. Warren also explores the idea that as a teacher you are an expert in the classroom no matter how many times you are recognized by the district. One can create their own brand based off their expertise. To figure out what one’s expertise is Warren suggests writing everything you do as a teacher down, and then narrowing that list. As a teacher finding your expertise is a key way self-branding helps you get ahead.
Once you found your expertise it is important to let others know what you stand for. Warren suggests using resources like blogs, YouTube, and twitter with the big goal being “once you get a following you may be able to present at conferences or do workshops for fellow educators.” This is important because this could lead to another source of revenue for a teacher. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics on 2014 the median salary for a teacher is $53,760 per year. That is a livable amount of money, but when you have more expenses more money could be very helpful. If you create a brand and are able to present at conferences you could be compensated for that time. If you have a blog that becomes popular you could make money off people advertising on your blog. With a brand, as a teacher, you have ample opportunity to make more money.
The key with self-branding as a teacher is that you need to maintain this brand throughout your time teaching. John Williams of entrepreneur.com says the most important piece of advice he could give someone who is creating a brand is to be consistent. Creating a brand takes time, and once you create it you need to maintain it. Teachers are constantly learning and refining their skills. They are constantly trying new things in the classroom every year. With all of this happening it is important to tweak your brand or update your following on what you are learning or doing. In order to continually stay competitive as a teacher your brand needs to be up to date on the current happenings in education. The way to do that is by being consistent with your brand.
Self-branding as a teacher is important in today’s competitive digital age to set yourself apart. When a teacher creates a brand it is important for them to find their expertise and to be consistent with the upkeep of it.