In this digital age, it’s harder and harder to contain all the embarrassing things you’ve done during your life time. When Hayden Googled me, for example, he found my old Xanga, Myspace, and Twitter account from MIDDLE SCHOOL. While I’m sure some of us were decent human beings in middle school, I was not one of them. Luckily, I had enough foresight to make every single one of these things utterly impervious to the prying eye (aka: impervious to my parents). Thus, these pages are not liabilities. I don’t have a Facebook page because I hate politics and I don’t care what your baby looks like. Twitter is okay. I have one, but I only look at posts from people who have the credentials to blast their opinions to my iPhone. I don’t feel that I have anything insightful or productive to add to the conversation, so I just lurk around.
While this isn’t hurting my reputation, it certainly isn’t doing anything to help it, either. Instead of merely lurking on people, I, as Dr. Rish instructed, can use social media strategically to improve my digital teacher identity. I could start using my Twitter to post topics I’m interested in such as education and reform, lesson plan ideas, or, my favorite thing, video games and literacy. When a potential employer googles my name, instead of my junk from middle school showing up, s/he can view my educational interests and who I am as a teacher based on my Twitter feed.
I would be really stepping up my game if I decided to create a personal blog to talk about educational stuffs, activities I participate in around my community, and, again, ways to incorporate video games into the classroom. I think that would be interesting because the blog would be a place for me to further shape who I am as a future educator by thinking issues through via a public blog. I believe potential employers would be extremely interested in seeing my development and ideas.
The goal here isn’t to fabricate my teacher identity. The goal is to get my identity OUT THERE. Those people have no idea who I am or what I’m about. Most of my professors don’t know the exact reason why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place. Using social media strategically can vastly improve my odds of getting a job and KEEPING my job. If a student’s parent looks me up and sees a bunch of research I’ve done and sees me as a person who loves children and loves teaching them, I believe it will help create a community in and out of my classroom.