I wrote this article and its companion Leave No Evidence! because I have long been concerned that my colleagues in the classroom are not as street smart with social media as they need to be. I am focusing on the use of Facebook here. However, much of what I have to say applies to the other social media apps such as Instagram and Twitter.
When you use social media, be aware of the following:
- Your posts are forever.
- Your posts can be forwarded outside your circle of friends.
- Your comments can be forwarded outside your circle of friends.
- Your following of people and groups is visible.
Your posts are forever.
As part of my research for this article, I googled "teacher fired for posting on Facebook" and got 2,602,000 search results. Well, not all of those search results are relevant, but you get my point. 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.
Now, let me be more specific about what to post and what not to post. Birthday and anniversary greetings are appropriate. Nasty, intolerant comments are not appropriate. News about family gatherings and activities are appropriate. Photos of a family gathering or your 3-month-old eating carrots are appropriate. Ranting about how much you hate
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
In this article, I will assume the role of the school which is advertising a position. I want you to see and understand what goes on behind the scenes as applications come in online, via email or snail mail. With that knowledge, I know that you will take the extra time and care necessary to submit the kind of application which will make the first cut. After all, you need to make it to the interview stage. Otherwise, all bets are off. I will present the school and its thinking. I will follow that with my editorial comments and advice.
The School: When we advertise a position, we expect to receive hundreds of applications and resumes. Some of these are from people whom we know; however, most of the applications are from people we do not know. Tell me now, why should I look at your resume? Here are some reasons why your application will go onto the "Review" pile.
1. You presented your application in the format which we specified.
School: Following instructions is a trait most employers value. As a result, a simple thing like following the instructions on how to apply for the job opening at our school speaks well of 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 which we specify, your chances of making the first cut are fairly slim. While some schools will let you
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