What advice would you give to a colleague who had been told in their mid-year appraisal that they should consider moving schools, so that they could re-brand themselves? In the first instance you may wonder what that has to do with teaching, however after a few minutes you may start to wonder about your own brand.
When students get their timetables at the start of the year in secondary school and they see their teacher for the academic year, what is their reaction to certain staff names? That name is in essence a brand. It stands for the type of lesson, learning environment and experience they will get every time they enter that lesson. Do they immediately think it is going to be a top of the range experience that year? What type of response is their when they go home and mention all the teachers they have?
So a teacher's name is part of the brand experience. Like a supermarket. The learning environment goes hand in hand with the entire brand. Will students experience lots of clutter when they enter their assigned learning space - bargain basement branding or will it all be sleek magnolia walls with minimal displays like the most expensive fashion designer stores on Bond Street?
Taking this back to being given that advice from a line manager. Is it easier to rebrand by moving schools? Is it easier to rebrand if you move to a promoted post? How would you rebrand if you are staying for another academic year in your current post?
For those responding to this article - have you ever done the task of looking at your own area of responsibility (subject area perhaps) and considered the value of your brand in the school? Do students consider it absolutely vital that they have access to this item? Is it a valued commodity? Where is it's place and how is it promoted?
Lots of questions, however as schools increasingly use marketing expertise to get external messages across to parents and students - there may be a need for teaching staff to consider their brand for internal marketing purposes? Let me know what you think.