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Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and author of Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus,...
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What's Your Rep?

Reputations are like shadows. They follow you everywhere!

We often tell our students that their reputation is important, and that it will follow them to the next grade. But how often do we think about our own reputation?

If there is one thing that I have learned, it's that the goodwill we build as educators can make or break our career. In the past five years, I have changed teaching jobs twice. Both times I received a job offer based on the recommendation of my previous supervisors. That's the way it works, folks. You can brag about yourself all day long during an interview, but it's what your supervisors and colleagues say about you that makes all the difference.

Now that I have hopefully convinced you of the importance of developing a strong reputation, I'd like to share some tips on making that happen.


Nothing speaks louder than results. Post strong test scores and learning gains. Handle classroom room management yourself. Develop great rapport with parents. If you are not producing these results, seek out training so that you can reach this level. There is no substitute for doing a job well.


Your job is to not only make your students successful but to help your school succeed as well. That means helping other teachers with projects, securing positive media, and participating in school-wide events. You want to be known as a team-player.


I know it sounds simple, but be nice to others. Smile. Go out of your way to be friendly. Share supplies when you can. Congratulate others for their accomplishments. Also, avoid arguing over small issues. You want to be known as someone who can play nice in the sandbox. You can't afford being known as someone who is hard to work with.

While those are only a few concepts for building a strong reputation, it's a good place to start. Be nice, do a strong job, and be a team player. Sounds elementary, but it is harder to practice when surrounded by the pressures of work. However, if you focus on these concepts, you will develop a reputation that will help open up doors.

Please share your thoughts on the subject by visiting the Innovative Teaching group at http://community.educationworld.comcontent/whats-your-rep-0?gid=NTEyMQ==

Thank you,