5 tips to create a profile as an international educator

If you would like to make a name for yourself sharing your teaching expertise, here are five ways to go about it
26th November 2020, 11:02am

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5 tips to create a profile as an international educator

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/5-tips-create-profile-international-educator
How International Teachers Can Create A Profile As Bloggers, Sharing Their Expertise

In addition to my teaching and leadership role at The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, I am fortunate to have many opportunities to discuss, share and reflect on education in a variety of ways.

I have authored three educational books, am a writer and blogger, podcast host, and regularly speak at educational events. As such, I am often asked by educators who teach internationally how these opportunities present themselves and how they can go down this route, too.

Becoming a name in the international education community

Below is my advice in terms of gaining a profile within the international educational community and seeking out new and exciting opportunities.

1. Share your content

Consider what your specific areas of interest and expertise are in terms of education and then share what you know with others. You may think you might not have anything to offer but it is highly likely other teachers and leaders will benefit from what you can bring to the table.

You can set up your own educational blog or website, for example. This is a lot easier to do than people realise. WordPress is simple to use and there are step-by-step instructions to guide you through it. You can watch a YouTube tutorial if you get stuck or ask someone who has a blog that you like the look of for help.

And, of course, you can offer your ideas to well-known and established educational magazines - including Tes.

Initially, you should aim to share freely and regularly but there may come a point when you are in a position to charge a fee for your time and what you can offer.

2. Celebrate and share the work of others

In addition to sharing your own content, make sure you celebrate and share the work of other educators, too.

This can be an educational book you have read and would recommend or you could suggest an online presentation, idea, resource or article. If it is something you have found useful and it has had a positive impact on your practice then it will no doubt be helpful for other educators.

Share and signpost people to content that links with what you share and you can become known and recognised for being an expert or the go-to person in that field. Others will appreciate you supporting them and will do so in return, too.

3. Embrace social media

Platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn have transformed the teaching profession, especially on the international scene.

Obviously, gaining a following and recognised profile online won't happen overnight, but once you have established a profile, it is likely the requests and invitations will start to arrive.

To grow a following you need to follow and connect with other educators as much as possible, and share content on a regular basis - ideally daily.

Use hashtags that are relevant in education so people outside of your following will be able to see your posts. Hashtags such as #UKEdchat or #TeachUAEchat are a great starting point. Include visual images to attract attention and add links to direct people where they can learn more.

Include social media handles on your business cards, email signatures and on presentation slides. Useful and interesting content will eventually lead to an ever-growing following.

4. Build it up and have patience

I became an author after six years of teaching and two years of regularly blogging and writing articles for educational magazines.

This is a very useful process as it gives you the experience of reflecting and redrafting, as well as gaining an audience.

Writing a book before doing any of those things is possible but much more challenging. Gaining a profile online or as a presenter or writer will not happen overnight. It takes time - be patient and be consistent.

5. Be authentic

This is absolutely essential. There are people who want fame and followers but are not willing to invest the time, effort and dedication or share content that offers any value.

The aim should always be to develop professionally but also to support other educators with their professional learning so that children will ultimately benefit in the classroom.

People who are simply chasing likes and retweets are easy to spot.

Share what you are genuinely doing in the classroom or as a leader. It is important when writing or presenting about teaching, learning and leadership that people doing so can walk the walk, not just talk a good talk!

Kate Jones is head of history at The British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi. Author of Love To Teach, Retrieval Practice and Retrieval Practice 2., she tweets @87history,

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