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The new professional - in education

A new definition of professional behavior is developing in this social world. Here is the transition:


from What Does “Professional” Look Like Today? by Allison Fine (via Stephen's Lighthouse.)

While Fine is writing about business CEOs, I am struck by how each of these things applies to those of us in education - classroom teachers, librarians, principals, tech directors and superintendents alike - with the new need for transparency driven by the forces of social media.

While our conversations so often deal with being cautious in our use of Facebook, friending students, and questioning social networking's education value, the ground is shifting.

As I was looking at Fine's list, I thought about two of our district's most popular and effective elementary teachers - Arne and Steve. These guys have long been Civil War reenactors (Arne briefly appears in Dances with Wolves) who have shared their interest and passion for the era with students through a Civil War camp, presentations and a variety of instructional activities. Rather than hiding their personal interests, they've used them to make themselves more effective teachers.

Social media is allowing all educators, teachers and librarians included, to share their personal passions and make themselves "more interesting and attractive." 

What interests you that makes you more interesting in turn? Gardening? Bicycling? Genealogy? Fishing? A particular literary genre? Scrapbooking? Travel? It's time to stop hiding these interests and start sharing them if you aren't already. What does your website, Facebook page, blog, and LinkedIn profile say to your parents, students and potential employers?

Tell us a little about yourself. It's part of being a "new" professional. 


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Reader Comments (8)

Excellent article :-)

The internet has really made the world smaller. We can now easily connect to anyone in the world. The internet has allowed us to share knowledge and resources. It's crazy not to network and learn from educators all over the world.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArgee Abadines

One of my favorite educator bloggers and Aussie PBL English teacher extraordinaire, Bianca Hewes (, just two days ago wrote about Mother's Day, the influence of absentee mothers in literature, while sharing about her own childhood with an absentee mother. It made for powerful reading, and significantly added to my own extraordinarily deficient understanding of English literature. Connecting as human beings can often be better accomplished in the safety of an online relationship, and is why social networking in education can be so very effective and enriching when done well.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill Storm

That table is exactly what I need to share with teachers at my school. I think with some minor tweaking it can also be used to redefined Education. Thanks for sharing!

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClint Hamada

Powerful post. I will be forwarding this to the staff at my school. Thanks for sharing.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Spicher


. We can now easily connect to anyone in the world. It made for powerful reading, and significantly added to my own extraordinarily deficient understanding of English literature............


May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbacus

Hi Argee,

Well said!


Hi Bill,

One of the things I like best about you is that you have a sense of balance - especially about social networking. It's the extremists on both sides of this issue that make me nervous!


May 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Social networking is enabling all instructors, instructors and librarians included, to share their personal interests and make themselves "more exciting and eye-catching."

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSchool for English

Hi Susan,

Very true!


May 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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