IT's Elementary

Empowering, Encouraging, Equipping Educators and Students

My Personal Brand – E,E,E

December 12, 2011 by jhino2nd · 5 Comments · Coetail 2, Digital footprint

I want to begin by thanking Madeleine Cox for her blog post and creative idea of her brand. I had read the articles for this week about tribes and brands but wasn’t sure that I really cared about “my brand”. I thought it is great for educators who change positions every few years to be proactive in using social media to locate a job. If you want more ideas on how to do use social media check out this site. I love my job and my husband is settled in his job so I thought, “What does this have to do with me? Why should I spend my time creating a brand? It really doesn’t matter.”

Last evening I was trying to explain to my husband what I needed to do and the difficulty I was having. He asked to see my blog. We were out at a restaurant and so I was trying to find the easiest way to my blog on my phone, (I don’t have the url memorized). When I did a google search of the title, I wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t on the list, but I was surprised by some of the other hits that had a similar title. (I finally got to it through the Coetail website) Thank you to whoever set up the Netvibes site with all the participants’ blogs. My conversation with my husband didn’t get me any nearer to an answer and we are on 2 very different pages about blogs. He has a blog, but does not allow comments and can’t understand why I want comments. I did realize that I want something distinctive about who I am and what I stand for as an educator, that is connected to my digital footprint.

Reading Jeff Utecht’s post on Creating Your Personal Brand was a bit more helpful than my husband’s comments. So I started thinking about who is my audience and what do others think of me. I decided to be bold and ask for some help on Facebook. I knew that I was setting myself up for some wild and wacky answers. I have great friends, but sometimes some of them get carried away with suggestions. One good friend reminded me there already is a truck with my name(Hino) and why not use that. Two problems, first is that the kanji for my name is rather complicated 樋野 the kanji for the truck company is 日野 so it really isn’t the same. Secondly, I am sure that it is already patented and I don’t think this would fall under “fair use“. I also don’t think I want to be associated with a truck!

A co-worker suggested a pinecone.

Pinecones from the Hino house.

Our school’s yearbook is called “Matsu” which is an evergreen tree. So I could see a possible connection, but I was not sure how others would interpret a pinecone. So my search continued. This morning my principal, Jacquie Willson, asked if I had chosen a brand. I explained I was still searching. She recommended “Empowering Educators”. Wow! I finally was getting somewhere. I let the ideas germinate throughout the day and asked a few colleagues for suggestions. I finally came up with my brand -

          Empowering, Encouraging, Equipping 

I am Empowering my colleagues through our Professional Learning Community and hopefully other educators who read my blog. I have always seen myself in a role of Encouraging of my colleagues and students. Our mission at CAJ is to “equip students to impact the world for Christ.” So I see myself Equipping my students and also Equipping my colleagues to try new strategies and integrate technology. I will have to work on the logo or photo that goes with this. I may even go back to the pinecone idea. Pinecones are the reproductive organ of the Evergreen tree. I hope that by Empowering, Encouraging, Equipping others I am planting seeds of hope, growth and change. I  think I will be looking for a photo of myself and some pinecones that will become my avatar and brand.

As an educator I also wonder, is it necessary to teach my 2nd graders about brands? Jeff Utecht wrote an article about When to Start Teaching Self Branding. Jeff wrote about a teacher who created a brand for his class to help students identify with a larger group than themselves. I think it would be fun to create a brand for my class to begin the New Year, after our Christmas break. This year we have a class mascot, Brisky Bear, so maybe we need a brand too.

Brisky Bear in the classroom by Jean

So over the Christmas break, I’ll do some thinking of what “brand” we can associate with our class.

As Jeff Utecht wrote, educators need time to reflect. I was really reluctant to begin this process of branding myself, but as I have been writing and reflecting I more and more value the idea of deciding what I want to represent through my blog and through my interactions with other educators, my students and parents.

 

Tags: ······

5 Comments so far ↓

  • Ruth Ingulsrud

    Hi Jean,
    What a great post! I was very interested in the process you went through in trying to find a personal brand. You seem to have some good connections and reasons for choosing your specific symbols and words. And, of course, I was impressed with the sample logo that a former CAJ student had submitted for your consideration that used all of your ideas in such an artful way. Have you decided what you will do with the logo? Will you incorporate it into your website banner? Make personalized digital and paper stationery? I’m looking forward to seeing the result!

  • jhino2nd

    Ruth,
    I’m still trying to decide on which logo I want to use. I also need to figure out how to use it on my blog and see what else I might do with it. Have to find out how to make personalized digital stationery. But this is a project for next week. I’ll be sure to show you when I decide.

  • jhino2nd

    My logo is completed and you can find it on Jean’s Logo page at the top of my blog. A huge thank you to Justin for his help in creating an eye-catching logo.

  • Brian Farrell

    You’ve given a great deal of thought to your strengths and so the exercise has been a successful one. Now the challenge is to make sure that all of this positive stuff is what shows up first and is at the top of those search rankings when people come looking for you.

    • jhino2nd

      It’s also what I want showing up in my classroom and interactions with students and colleagues. It was interesting the other week my husband asked me to Google his name and there were a lot of hits that all were papers he was an author or co-author of, plus other articles related to him. He asked me to Google myself. Since I didn’t put ” ” around my name I got 3 times the hits he did but only the first 2 or 3 were me and then anything with Hino, particularly automotive related came up. So I need to keep working on this.

Leave a Comment