--Originally published at Emerging Education Technologies » FLN Hub Syndicated Posts
Editor's Note: This post was written as a guest post for my site EmergingEdTech.com by Robert Mening: Robert has been interested in technology and the web since he can remember. A web developer and designer since 2004, he created WebsiteSetup.org; a website he has dedicated to helping people learn what they need to setup their own websites. - K. Walsh.
We are all our own Distinct Brand, Aren't we? Take Pride in it!
Teachers are often master marketers. They need to know how to market content to a classroom of students who might not be too interested, and they also need to know how to market themselves. Teaching is a competitive profession, and that is particularly true when it comes to the upper levels. College instructors, for example, often teach at multiple schools to make a living.
Since teachers need to know how to market, they want to find modern avenues for doing so. The blogging platform, therefore, can help teachers contribute to their own brand in many ways.
Building a Brand
When teachers are in the classroom, they are combining their methods with the understanding of their students. They have the ability to build a unique identity as a teacher; however, that identity can vanish as soon as their students graduate. Using a blog allows teachers to build an individual identity that lasts. Before students even come into the classroom, they and their parents can get a sense of what the teacher is about and how the course may progress.
Showing Technological Skills
If you visit many schools in the country, you will find that the administration places a great deal of emphasis on technology. They don't just want this skill to remain abstract, they want teachers to know how to use the latest and greatest. When job candidates show that they have the necessary skills, they probably have a better chance of building up their reputation and securing the job. When you are a teacher, consider starting a blog so that you can add any technological skills to your resume. It can only help.
Identifying Teaching Pedagogy
Talking about teaching doesn't just involve listing all of the steps that you take in the classroom; you also want to know the pedagogy behind them (the method and practice of teaching). Generally, states require students to procure degrees in education when they want to teach. They spend all of this time learning about pedagogy. If you have already forgotten about the theories of teaching, you should look into a refresher course. You may want to contact some of your previous college professors to see if they can point you in the right direction. On your blog, you can talk about the pedagogy that you use in your classroom, and you can link out to sources for further reading.
Showing Writing Skills
Whether you want to teach English to first-year students in high school or you are hoping to instruct advanced courses at a prestigious university, you need to showcase your ability to write. Even if you do not plan to teach English, you generally need to show administrators that you know how to write well. Writing is a skill that spans the disciplines. For example, no matter what majors students decide to go into in college, they are likely to have to write papers. Therefore, high school administrators want to make sure that their teachers can teach these skills. If you have a blog, you can show how strong your writing skills are.
When you are a teacher, you need to make sure that you are careful not to reveal personal information about your students on the internet or elsewhere. While you may not have the ability to discuss a specific teaching scenario on your blog, you can discuss an approach that you use that works well. On the other hand, you can look back into your past as a teacher and think about methods that you could refine now. Having a blog allows you to show people that you are yearning to grow. You are not stuck in teaching methods of the past that are now antiquated; you are interested in bettering yourself in the field of education.
Expressing Your Hobbies
Students sometimes see their teachers as people who do not have lives outside of the classroom. While maintaining a level of respect and privacy is important for both educators and students, building greater rapport also involves diminishing these roles to some extent. By establishing a blog, you can also talk about the activities that you like to pursue on the weekend or during summer breaks. Whether you like to paint or snowboard, you can build a bridge with your students. They may realize that you have the same hobbies. Even if they don't, talking about your hobbies can make you seem more approachable. Students may express less trepidation about talking to you if they have an issue in the classroom or want to review material.
You want to show that you do not see yourself as having an isolated experience. You know that you are drawing material from a community of teachers and learners, and you also know that you are contributing to this community. By providing links to other learning and teaching resources on your blog, you get to show your active role in the community. Contributing to the body of teaching knowledge is important for your personal growth, and demonstrating this action can also help to provide administrators with a more favorable impression of your skills.
Connecting with Students and Parents
Depending upon the rules at your school and the privacy level of the blog, you may also want to use it to communicate with your students and their parents. At the college level, some teachers use blogs as discussion forums. You could pose a question on the blog, allowing your students to respond to it. You can put required assignments on the blog. Furthermore, you can encourage your students to develop their own blogs. You may want to assign the blogs at the beginning of the semester and work with your class throughout the few months to help the students develop and understand their own work.
Your brand as an educator is important. You want to market a positive impression to parents, students, administrators and the educational environment at large. In the land of technology, running a blog can allow you to do so.
Feature Image source - Sylvia Duckworth
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