Find Yourself!

Imagine you are a budding teacher candidate, ready to take on the exciting challenges of student teaching.  Or, imagine you are a newly certified teacher, ready to take on the exciting challenges of looking for a teaching job.  Now imagine what happens when your name is presented to your future cooperating teacher or to your potential future employer.  What do you think those future colleagues do?  Of course, they “Google” you, they “Facebook” you, they “Twitter” you, or they just generally scour the web for information about you.

Is your online presence something you want those future colleagues to find?  When they view your Facebook page or your Twitter feed, is there anything they will see or read that might make them question your value to their students?  If the answer is “Yes,” then “Houston, we have a problem.”  If the answer is “No,” then rock on.  My experience has been that most young, budding, wannabe teachers have concerns about future colleagues seeing their online presence. So what is a teacher candidate to do?

The solution that many of my current and former students try is to change their Facebook or Twitter names to their first and middle names.  Oooh… that’s devious, that’s genius, that’s far too difficult a security strategy for any future colleague to crack.  Never mind the fact that your transcripts include your full name, as does most publicly available University information.  So, it’s likely they’ll still figure out your strategy, even though you’re probably the first person to ever think to try changing your Facebook name {insert sarcasm}.

Another solution is to “disappear” from social media.  Delete your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram, everything, just delete it all.  By golly, they’ll never find you!

Here’s the problem and the point of my post.  I won’t drop names, but a local school superintendent and a worldwide respected educator have said the same thing.  They explained that if your future colleagues search online for you and they find information about you that they don’t like or they find questionable, you’re done… they won’t hire you or work with you.  On the other hand, they also said if they search online for you and they find NOTHING, they will assume you are hiding something and they won’t hire you or work with you.  What a catch-22, but I agree with them wholeheartedly!

So, you need to be found online.  The real solution in my mind is to develop a strong, professional online presence.  Create a new Facebook page and share your professional side.  Create a new Twitter account and follow and post only about educational topics.  Create a new Instagram account and only post photos of you working in the classroom.  Create a website and share your resume, your philosophies and your beliefs.  You can still have a dark side, just make sure your professional side is brighter.

What do you think?

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About cupprof

Husband, father, grandfather, professor, outdoorsman, photographer, and perpetual deck builder.
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One Response to Find Yourself!

  1. blantzhealth says:

    This is a fabulous post for newbie educators.

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