My warning is simple and very clear: if you are employed by a school (or would like to be) do not post anything on Facebook which could be misinterpreted by your present or future employer.
The issue is not freedom of speech. The issue is electronic media. It is everlasting.
Facebook posts can be shared. They can turn up on Google searches. They can be used against you by people who don't like you. Even when you supposedly didn't give them permission to do so.
So against this sobering backdrop, let's explore what's involved with Facebook.
1. "But my privacy settings were ultra-strict."
That's understandable. You only want to share your information with your friends and family. But remember: once you post something on Facebook, it's out there. It's no longer private. If one of your 'friends' decides to forward that photo of you hoisting a glass of champagne on your 30th birthday, that simple act of 'sharing' could cost you your job. It has done that for several teachers according to news reports which I found.
It's not just photos which can get you in trouble. It's your comments about your work or your students. If you want to self-destruct, then by all means post something like "My parents are arrogant snobs".
I can just hear you thinking to yourself: "Why on earth would I need a rebranding?" Signs that you might need a rebranding include the reality that you are invisible to prospective employers and, almost as bad, your credentials have begun to look kind of 2000-ish. Rebranding. Makeover. Facelift. Call it whatever you wish. But it all amounts to the same thing. Or does it? Rebranding, you see, is intrinsically much more focused than a simple makeover or a facelift. Let's see what is involved.
What is rebranding?
Rebranding sounds like something Proctor and Gamble might do with a tired soap brand. The product does a great job, but it has lost the appeal it once had in the marketplace. Are you beginning to see how this might have some relevance to a private school teacher? Rebranding yourself as a dynamic teacher with vision, expertise in her subject and the skills to create excitement in the classroom will push your candidacy for the position you want to the front of the pack. Or you can leave things as they were. The choice is yours.
Remember: it is a fiercely competitive job market in the second decade of the 21st century. Schools have hundreds of highly qualified and experienced candidates from which to choose. Why should they look at you? They should look at you because the rebranded you seems fresh, relevant, and perfect for position they have open.
Who is a candidate for rebranding?
Unless you have an iron-clad
1. It is presented in the format which we specified.
Following instructions is a trait most employers value. As a result, a simple thing like following the instructions for how to apply for the job opening at our school is going to speak volumes about you. We use a standardized application form at our school in order to comply with all sorts of legal requirements. So, if you use something other than the form we specify, your chances of making the first cut are fairly slim. Some schools will let you choose the application format. Others are very specific. Follow each school's instructions to the letter.
For example, this school wants you to apply via email in a format you choose. "Please send resume to email@example.com with “Journalism” in the subject line."
This school wants you to send a formal application via snail mail: "Candidates for all faculty positions should send a letter of interest, resume, a list of three references and academic transcripts"
Yet another school cautions applicants: "Please do not submit any documents in PDF format."
The important thing for you to remember is that each school is unique. It does things
You thought that you were doing a good job. Your students seemed to like you. You interacted well with parents. However, everything changed when you received that dreaded letter stating that the school would not be renewing your contract for the coming academic year. Unfortunately, since private school teachers are not unionized, you have no recourse. Obviously, you need to make sure that you leave with good references if at all possible. It will do you no good to leave with negative references.
Most teachers like to teach. But many teachers don't like to market themselves. Unfortunately, that is what private school teachers have to do these days. Nobody else is going to market them. Most teachers don't belong to an agency which exposes them to schools looking to fill a vacancy. Because the job market is so very competitive, teachers have to sell themselves or risk losing out to a more competitive candidate. Here are five things which you can do to prevent that non-renewal letter from arriving in the first place.
1. Show that you love teaching young people.
I mention this in the first slot because this is why the school probably hired you in the first place. Occasionally a school will hire a displaced college professor. Why does that matter? Academia has been shedding jobs for many years as colleges realign their programs to changing market conditions. As a result, hundreds of very well-degreed graduate students are looking at all their options. Teaching in a private school beats