PR Time - Let's Go, Educators!
Do we need to promote ourselves as educators? Absolutely.
Do we do a good job of it? Absolutely not.
Welcome to PR 101, that's for Public Relations 101. Back when I started teaching, it was not common for anyone to toot their own horn. As a matter of fact, sharing any of our successes as individual teachers was taboo at the site where I worked. Sad, isn't it?
Face it. As educators, we don't do a great job of telling our stories....not even a good job most of the time. Why do we need to start bragging, even just a little bit?
Policymakers need us to. Those elected to make policy, including our school boards, often don't hear enough from us about what we do and do well. If they are going to make decisions about funding issues, don't they need to hear what we've done and why it's been successful? Heck yes! Tell your stories!
We're surrounded by negativity. Let's see....the last week on the news I've heard about a high school teacher who was arrested for solicitation and "grooming" his students, a school district being sued by a big name attorney claiming they didn't follow procedure back in 2014, a local superintendent who is being sued for retaliation, and two district immersed in very public contract talks with teachers that have taken a turn towards the negative with the "s" word abounding. We just had 3000 local high schoolers graduate - we should be celebrating accomplishments, telling the tales of retiring educators whose leadership made a difference in changing lives. But that's not what is on the news so sometimes we need to make the news and share those successes that balance the negative.
Promote yourself the way others do in other professions. If you want to move to another location, promote to a higher position, or challenge yourself in a different capacity, you need to start by getting your name out there. Find ways to share achievements....on Facebook, in school newsletters (keep it about the team but its clear who the leader is), in eblasts, in press releases from your district...get creative. But get it out there. And if all else fails, link it here on LinkedIn.
Learn to accept compliments. Yes, this is a learned skill for many of us. I had a wise colleague tell me many years ago, learn to accept the positives. When you brush off the compliment or shy away from the award your team nominated you for, you are not respecting their gifts of acknowledgement, and at the heart of who you are as a leader, you're probably one who is good at thanking others.
Are there any special tips you would add?