So it’s that time of year again when international educators start to think about the possibility of moving on to a new adventure. Contracts will be coming out soon if they haven’t been offered already, and many of us will have a life changing decision to make. With that in mind I gave a presentation last week titled, “Shameless Promotion is Good Practice”, and essentially it was a discussion around how imperative it is for all of us to be current, prepared, and able to have the necessary conversations that will come our way when we look for our new school and community. Even if it’s not this year, the time will come I will suggest when you’ll decide to move on (such is the nature of international school education), and I’m wondering how ready are you to put yourself out there, and to separate yourself from the others who are also on the look out?
It’s interesting to me, as I sift through the dozens and dozens of resumes and application packages that we receive for our potentially vacant positions, how generic and unremarkable the majority of them are. I find it a little disheartening honestly that the majority of applicants are still sending in the usual and stock standard black and white CV, with a brief overview of their experience and less than inspiring cover letter. I’m going to say that this is no longer good enough (in my opinion), and with the access that we now have to technology and the many other engaging forms of media, we need to be promoting ourselves in a more creative and compelling way. If you don’t already have a professional blog or website showcasing your educational thinking, expertise, and awesomeness…..with videos of you teaching or presenting or collaborating…… and with colleague, student, and parent testimonials then you might already be behind the eight ball. Often times it’s getting that initial interview with an intriguing school which is the hardest and most difficult step, and because of that we need to do everything we can to showcase our expertise, our experience, and our personal and professional qualities so that schools are chomping at the bit to dig deeper and reach out. I bet everyone out there thinks that if they can just get an interview then they can get that job…….so do everything that you can to get that interview!
It may seem like a daunting and overwhelming task to set up a blog or website, or to read and follow the countless books and educational blogs that are popping up all around, so I’d like to help you get started. I think you’ll find that it’s not as daunting as you think, and with a tip here and there, and a push in the right direction you’ll soon be on your way to shamelessly self promoting yourself out to the world. You are all doing amazing things in your classrooms and with our kids….I see it everyday. Let me help you get that expertise out to not only your colleagues and prospective employers, but to the educational world in general. You all have way to much to offer to keep it in isolation and to yourself, so pop by over the next few weeks and let me prep you for your upcoming interviews……let me videotape some of your outstanding lessons…..let me read through your educational philosophies…..let me take a look at your CV……..and ask me anything you want about the process. This goes for all of you, even the ones who are staying on next year…….the time to start showcasing your teaching talents and separating yourself out from others is now. I’ve listed some good resources below off the top of my head to give you a start, so take some time to look through them. Also, if you have some others that you’d like to add to the lists below then please, please send them our way. Let’s help each other stay current, engaged, and prepared! Have a fantastic week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Week…….
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
– Robert Louis Stevenson
Some websites that will help to keep you current:
Educational Thinkers who are worth a look:
A Whole New Mind/Drive/To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Powerful Learning by Ron Brandt
Education and Ecstasy by George Leonard
Fish by Steven Lundin
Tribes/Linchpin by Seth Godin
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Where Good Ideas Come From by Stephen Johnson
John Hattie – Visible Learning for Teachers
Focus – Mike Schmoker
The Truth about Educational Leadership – Kouzes and Posner
The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle
How to Succeed with Thinking – Kath Murdoch
Making Thinking Visible – Ron Ritchhart