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Should Teachers Brand Themselves

By August 10, 2018September 30th, 2018Editor's Note

Should Teachers Brand Themselves

If you’re new here, hi, I’m Reginia Cordell.

…..former elementary school teacher, blogger, writer, and course creator (instructional designer).

I began teaching in 1998, before blogging, before Youtube, and during a time teachers made extra money by working after school programs, summer school, tutoring, or retail.

….that’s what the majority of us did to make ends meet with our beginning teachers’ salaries. I did, probably for the first two or three years of teaching until I found my way online.

There were small groups of teachers who went on to major publications or began working with educational publication companies such as Houghton-Mifflin or Pearson. While those are noble and rewarding roles, those roles have guiding expectations that may limit professional growth or scope of practice, however they offer gainful professional experiences that marry education and corporate settings.

…and then there’s the movement within the direct educational circle. By this I mean roles in school leadership, counseling, school psychology, classroom specialists such as reading or ESOL, or a coveted position in central office.

Within the education sector those are the most traveled roads which are crowded as many want to transition out of the classroom at some point. Professional mobility, as a teacher, can feel like a tight squeeze because roles are limited within the arena which broaches the question: “Should Teachers Brand Themselves?”

What is Branding?

What-is-branding

By definition, branding is the variable that clearly identifies a product, service, or entity and is distinct from other products, services, or entities within the same market. For example, when we think of soft drinks, the first two that come to mind are Coke and Pepsi. However, there are tons of colas on the market, but the branding for these items are what makes them stand out most.

So, how does this apply to teachers?

For teachers who enjoy teaching and education but want to expand their impact without taking the traditional routes into leadership, et al, should consider branding themselves. Teacher branding is positioning yourself as a qualified teacher and expert in your field. It is a portfolio of experiences that are cohesive, impactful, and share a body of knowledge based on research as well as professional experiences. Teacher branding is a growing trend because of the use of technology and social media. These two variables allow teachers to create spaces that either connect their classrooms to the outside world, set them apart from “classroom teaching” only, and allowing teachers to share their expertise on a grand scale.

…and you can earn handsomely as well.

Teachers who brand themselves also become a resource for others in the profession through teacher talks, collaborations, and simply sharing their relatable, daily experiences like “SmartieStyle” on Youtube.

If you’re a classroom teacher and looking to expand without pursuing traditional routes, consider branding yourself and trot the unbeaten path.

 

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