STEP 1 towards making yourself a better candidate for a teaching job: SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT

(Want steps 2-4 sent directly to your email as they are posted each week.? Scroll down and subscribe. I will never sell your information or spam you and it’s totally free.)

Also, before diving too deep into this post, you may want to skim over The Scrutiny, a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, which highlights some of the broader aspects of social media use as an educator.

Follow along for a step-by-step SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT

There will be two main components of your social media audit: deleting & building.

Part 1: Deleting

You are going to go through and delete any posts or images that contain:

trash can
  1. anything that could be viewed as bullying
  2. profanity
  3. anything overtly sexual
  4. anything overtly political
  5. Anything that might suggest you are a bad employee. Bad talking previous bosses, posts about how bored you are in meetings, or classes. Posts about how you’re spending your “sick” day on the beach. Etc.

Disclaimer: We are not delete entire accounts, just posts. That is unless the amount of inappropriate content is so high that you can’t easily remove it all. In that case. Delete the account all together. Not having any online presence can be a red flag for a potential employer.

Are department chairs, assistant principals, and principals going to be spending their days pouring over the social media accounts of the candidates they are considering interviewing?

No, that is highly unlikely. But, perhaps the day before the interview, while they’re waiting at the dentist’s office and thinking about the interviews coming up the next day, they might casually type your name into Google, Facebook, Twitter, you name it and see what comes up. Will they do a deep dive into your history if they find you? Probably not, but if they scroll once and see something troublesome they will likely take a look around.

Go through each social media site even if your user name is not your real name. Enough people know it’s you that a potential employer might too. The only case in which I wouldn’t be concerned is if you have a totally anonymous account that no one knows is you.

Start with Facebook if you have one. That is usually the first item to pop up if a potential employer does a Google search on your name. Go through the following list and start deleting.

  1. anything that could be viewed as bullying
  2. profanity
  3. anything overtly sexual
  4. anything overtly political
  5. Anything that might suggest you are a bad employee.
Example of #5 I found on a teacher’s Facebook page.

Twitter is generally potential employers second stop so it should be yours as well. Go through the list and start deleting.

  1. anything that could be viewed as bullying
  2. profanity
  3. anything overtly sexual
  4. anything overtly political
  5. Anything that might suggest you are a bad employee.
Delete, delete, delete!

Instagram isn’t as popular among the older crowd, but that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want there. You know what to do.

  1. anything that could be viewed as bullying
  2. profanity
  3. anything overtly sexual
  4. anything overtly political
  5. Anything that might suggest you are a bad employee.
Too political. Delete.

Even Snapchat could be a potential issue. What if your friend who is a senior now (and follows you on Snapchat) is your potential boss in three years? Tread carefully.

Part 2: Building

Now that you’ve done some spring cleaning it is time to build a purposeful social media presence

Choose one social media platform you want to focus on for your “teacher” presence.

Twitter

I recommend Twitter at the moment. It is easily searchable and the presence of teachers currently using Twitter is very high. You will be at no loss finding educators to connect with.

If you already have a Twitter account you may want to just start posting more of the type of stuff I talk about below.

If you don’t have an account go ahead and create one now. Use your real name as your handle if possible, or as close to it as you can get. Go ahead, I’ll still be here when you get back.

  1. Choose a profile image that represents you as a professional
  2. Focus on teaching in your bio. Something like this:
    UVA 2020 Biology and General Sciences Secondary Education Major
  3. Follow at least 10 positive leaders in the field of education. Here are a few suggestions: Danny Steele (@SteeleThoughts), Kathleen Trace/Me (@ATeachersguide), Hamish Brewer (@brewerhm), Edutopia (@edutopia), Dwyane Reed (@TeachMrReed), Jeff Gargas‏ (@jeffgargas), Todd Whitaker (@ToddWhitaker), Tom Whitby (@TomWhitby), We Are Teachers (@WeAreTeachers), ISTE (@isteconnects).
  4. Retweet a positive message about education at least once a week
  5. Try leaving a comment on a post you really connect with.
  6. Take a picture of a book (preferably related to education or your content in some way) you are reading now and post it on your social media. #amreading #amlearning #lifelonglearning #wannabeteacher. Employers want to see that you are always looking to gain more knowledge of your content and in the field of education. Do this once a month or so and again right before your interview.
  7. Experiment with canva (it’s free) to create some aesthetically pleasing posts with quotes or messages about empowering students. #empower #mentalhealthmatters #studentdriven
This is the right thing to do!
I made this on Canva in three minutes.

Last suggestion

According to Education Week, ideal teachers possess the following traits. As you read through them, think about how you could use your new, clean, employment geared social media account to show that you possess these traits. Use of up to date buzzwords in your posts will help.

  1. Life long learners, always looking to improve
  2. Eager to connect with diverse leaders to continue to improve practice
  3. Are voracious readers, modeling what they expect of their students
  4. Transparent in their expectations
  5. Exhibits a good attitude and a growth mindset
  6. Models mistakes and growing from them
  7. Comfortable not-knowing, but eager to problem solve
  8. Technology is seamlessly integrated into their practice
  9. Student learning is of the utmost importance – they don’t control, they conduct, facilitate- empower
  10. Creative and open to trying new things
  11. A natural relationship builder and a good reader of situations
  12. Hard working and nurturing
  13. Responsible

(Want steps 2-4 sent directly to your email as they are posted each week? Scroll down and subscribe. I will never sell your information or spam you and it’s totally free. Post number two will go beyond social media and walk you through creating a purposeful online presence that will propel you to the top of the hiring list.)

A Teacher's Guide

I am a National Board Certified educator currently teaching in Virginia. I have taught the following: English 9, 10, 11, and 12 (on academic, collaborative, and honors levels); Dual Enrollment English; Mass Communications, Yearbook, Newspaper, and Communications Technology. I have experience in five different school systems, four in Virginia and one in Maryland. I served as my school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year and was a top five finalist for the Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. I am passionate about recruiting and retaining quality educators in our public schools. Let me help you find your path to changing lives through teaching!

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5 Responses

  1. March 15, 2019

    […] Also, before diving too deep into this post, you will want to work through Step 1: Social Media Audit. […]

  2. March 19, 2019

    […] Have you checked out my posts on 5 Steps towards making yourself a better candidate for a teaching job? Step 1 is a Social Media Audit. […]

  3. March 22, 2019

    […] diving too deep into this post, you will want to work through Step 1: Social Media Audit and Step 2 (Part 1): building a purposeful online […]

  4. March 29, 2019

    […] diving too deep into this post, you will want to work through Step 1: Social Media Audit, Step 2 (Part 1): building a purposeful online presence, and Step 2 (Part 2): building a purposeful […]

  5. April 13, 2019

    […] I wrote about how I could point out the long, drawn out syntax Tim O’Brien uses when he is emphasizing the long, drawn out walks the characters are taking in Vietnam. Then I’d have the students look for short choppy sentences and identify the action happening when the author used that kind of syntax. They would see that the syntax the author uses reflects the action happening at that moment in the text. It was spur of the moment, but it must have been ok because I got the follow up interview and ultimately the job. […]

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