Dr. Scott Benwell

In Collaboration and Community

Branding – An Evolution

November 29, 2010 by sbenwell · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

A professional brand is a representation of that which you stand for and are passionate about.  It needs to be current, recognized, and respected by those in the field and it cannot be fixed in time never to be changed.  When I started in this business and headed to a remote teaching job in northern British Columbia, it was enough to have a good interview and a reasonably good practicum report.  A picture on your resume was regarded as innovative.  Now, it seems, we aren’t in Kansas any more – Twitter, RSS feeds, Facebook etc. etc.  Email is now considered to be outmoded, slow, and cumbersome by those that have embraced the newer technologies and, guess what, all of our new teachers have and most of our young and mobile leaders are engaged, networked, and frustrated with a system that is slow to move and catch on.  We now need to represent our statements of values and beliefs in entirely different ways. 

I wrote in my doctoral dissertation back in 2004 at the University of Calgary that to be successful in education we need to take a stance that engages our skills within our consciousness.  That was to say that we, as educators, can learn to be better through our professional relationships and networks.  Only seven years ago, this concept was received well and appeared to contribute to the field of thought at the time, yet today it is a given: professional learning, networking, and connection is everywhere and expected not only within our schools and districts but across all geographic and policital boundaries.  Indeed, Thomas Friedman, the world is flat! 

We can and must grow and it is largely our mindset that will determine our successes.  Carol Dweck (http://mindsetonline.com/index.html) deals with the perils of a fixed mindset and the potential of a growth mindset in her book, Mindset, 2006.  Additionally, I am inspired by those around me that are on a deeply professional journey and, in particular, right now I am intrigued by the work of a principal in our school district (http://mrwejr.edublogs.org).  So,  here it goes – a journey to re-brand and stay current: 1.  Twitter account (@sbenwell1), 2.  Edublog account (this is my first post); and, 3.  A Curriculum Vitae that is a living document that reflects our new professional landscape with statements of purpose and action.

These are but a few small steps and the technologies themselves are not what will make a difference.  What we do with them will.  These are exciting times!

9 Comments so far ↓

  • Chris Wejr

    Welcome to the blogosphere Scott! I am so thrilled to see that some of the conversations you and I have around student learning as well as capacity as a district will be put out there for others to see and comment. Since I joined Twitter and started blogging, my journey as an educator has definitely moved more into the learner phase as this has allowed me to be challenged by others from around the world.
    Through my tweets and blogging, people are starting to understand my passions and are now sending me blog posts and articles around motivation, assessment, effective learning.
    Thank you for modeling the power of blogging. I look forward to being part of your journey.

  • Grant

    Yes, welcome to blogging. I think it’s great when educators are open about their passions and ideas. I have learned much from people who interact with my ideas and challenge me with theirs. I wish you well!

  • Tweets that mention Branding – An Evolution | Dr. Scott Benwell -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gillian Shaw, Lesley Edwards and Chris Wejr, E Gregory. E Gregory said: RT @MrWejr: Pumped my asst super started a blog! Please RT & comment @sbenwell1 's 1st post http://bit.ly/gRpjzl #cpchat [...]

  • Brad Hagkull

    Welcome aboard Scott! Your piece is well written and given me much to think about.
    I’m glad to have another local in the mix! As a new TOC in your neighboring district, my reflective learning has skyrocketed since using twitter for professional purposes. We all have experiences and backgrounds which shape our perspectives and so much to learn from each other.
    I love your last line:”the technologies themselves are not what will make a difference. What we do with them will.” As you open up your teaching heart to the world with your blogs and contributions, you’ll be amazed at the number of responses you get from others in different contexts and different cultures!
    It will be a pleasure to walk behind and alongside you in your education journey. – Brad

  • Chris Kennedy

    Hi Scott,

    It is really nice to connect with you through your blog. You have an oustanding reputation – I look forward to your thoughts. I really like the “brand” notion – it is one I think about often in using social media. Perhaps because of our jobs – and how they are educational within a political context, I am thinking of my personal brand, and also the District brand with every tweet or blog post. In many ways we are who Google says we are – and like we always say to kids – we need to protect and cultivate our “brand”.

  • sbenwell

    Thanks so much to those that have commented on this blog. I’m interested in the notion of branding at the personal, professional, district, and provincial levels. My first educational blog has been a huge motivator for me!

  • sbenwell

    Thanks. We have such an amazing opportunity in our area. Is the tipping point close?

  • sbenwell

    Chris, thanks so much for your leadership in getting me started. As always, the collaboration is a journey I very much enjoy.

  • @NoelineL

    Thanks for taking the plunge so gracefully. You’ll inspire others to follow!

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