It’s OK to brand myself
The recruiting season has started and I have just made my professional website go live. I have probably spent many hours crafting CVs over the years. Two years ago, my CV looked like this:
Trying to fit everything onto one page (wasn’t that always the golden rule?) and moving away from the boring passport photo, I changed it to this:
Then I tinkered with social icons and my SPELTAC project to show off I was connected:
And now I have to say I am really very chuffed with this:
As I was snooping around Kim Cofino’s website to get some inspiration (read: steal ideas) for my own, I watched her keynote Social Media Killed the Hollywood Star:
I made a connection. Kim says in her keynote that Youtube stars are demonstrating their learning in great new ways. They are learning confidence, relating yo your audience, being charismatic and the list is too long to put on one slide. She gives the example of a fashion star, but she reminds us it’s not about the content, it’s about the community they are building. They are more popular than Hollywood stars, because they are not just consuming they are creating.
And do you know what? Since I realized this two years ago when I joined Twitter and started blogging, since I realized I can also be ‘someone’ if I create… I can put everything I I know and everything I can offer out there. I do not have the desire to be a Youtube star, but it did teach me confidence… and a new sense of what is possible.
Why is it possible?
It’s possible because I now know how to build a website and a thing or two about ‘branding myself’, and I understand the importance and power of visuals for communication. I understand that humans are essentially visual learners. I also understand that we learn through our connected communities. My tech coach, Mr. Matthew Dolmont said in his reply to my comment:
“a brand doesn’t mean our philosophy has to be for sale… it’s a symbol of a system of values that we represent”
And as a language specialist, another thing struck me… as we learn form each other in our connected communities, we are also learning how to use language to express our thoughts. We come across things that people write and we think, yes! This is exactly what I think- only I didn’t have the words to say it in that way.
I wonder why this is not an integral part of what we teach our students. Why are we still only mainly talking about reading, writing, speaking and listening? Why are we not empowering them with these new literacies and connected learning? I agree with Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano when she says “no more time for babysteps“. As teachers we can take huge steps as we learn ourselves, together with our students.
As we are learning, feedback in our connected communities is key. If you are still reading this, I would most grateful if you could have a quick look at my professional website and answer one or two (or all if you are feeling generous!) of these questions about marcellehouterman.com:
Is it clear what my areas of expertise are?
Is it clear what I have achieved?
Does it show my educational philosophy (I tried to achieve this without writing five paragraphs)?
Does it show I love working with children?
Does it show, in the words of Patrick Holt that I am a lead learner?
What would you hire me for?
Why would you decide not to contact me?