Monday, July 9, 2012

Being your own 'brand'

Last week I attended the VIEU conference 'Best Foot Forward' - which focused on assisting student teachers with constructing their CV and cover letters in preparation to apply for graduate positions in the next few months. Even though I have written a CV before, this conference demonstrated just how challenging it can be to create one that is specific to teaching and one which also reflects your teaching philosophy.

One of the presenters Steve Whittington from SchoolJobs and Oxford Education discussed the importance of creating your own 'brand'. Even though this initially sounded quite odd to me, I now understand that it is important to articulate what you can bring to the job. It is essential to effectively communicate what makes you right for that position and more specifically that school. He used the analogy that the school is a puzzle, with individual pieces, and you must demonstrate how you fit into that puzzle.

To be honest, all of this is very daunting. The university has not given us any support (as yet) and I feel as if I am searching through the dark. The most challenging part is writing my teaching statement or philosophy. There does not seem to be much support online, so I am trying to focus on these three question -  What does my ideal classroom "Look like, feel like, sound like?"

These are some of the statements that I have come up with so far - 

As a teacher, I will endeavour to: 

- Create a classroom which is warm and welcoming, by maintaining a positive and honest environment where all students learn with and from each other, feeling safe and comfortable when sharing their thoughts and ideas with their peers. 
- Develop positive and supportive relationships with all students through having a genuine interest in their learning and lives, thus ensuring that mutual respect is maintained in the classroom at all times
- Ensure that all students learning needs are the primary focus, with knowledge being transformed into effective student understanding. This will be supported through ensuring that students are actively engaged with learning experiences which incorporate issues that are relevant to their own lives.

However, it is hard to know how much to write and the detail required.

For all those who have gone through this process - any advice would be much appreciated.



  1. Hi Kellie,
    I got onto your blog via the #TMmelb wiki. I'd like to share some ideas about creating a portfolio / teaching philosophy.
    You should keep the audience in mind, and your audience is most likely a very busy, experienced school manager who will glance at your portfolio / CV / 'brand' for no more than 30 seconds. So you only have 30 seconds to sell yourself. Steer clear from large slabs of text; NO ONE will read all of that. High light key terms, add images / photos. You should be creating an ad for yourself, so think like an advertising agency.

    Good luck with it all!

    1. Hi llja,

      Thank you for all of your advice, it is very useful. Would you recommend adding photos to the key selection criteria, or keeping them just for the portfolio?

      Also, with the portfolio, what kind's of things should I include?
      I have been told to include example of work, documents from my interventions. Is there anything else you can recommend. I am being told so many different things that it has all become quite confusing.

      Thanks again,