Let’s peel back the layers behind the word “teacher!” #tobeateacher #rebrandteaching



Last month at the National Network of State Teachers of the Year conference, it was stated that teachers were nation builders. That we, as educators, need to make apparent all the wonderful things that happen in our classrooms, to help rebrand the profession. As we sat in the audience, our wheels began turning.

What might be the most popular image that society traditionally associates with the word “teacher?” Does this represent the complex nature of the job? And how might we help rebrand the profession? Not by changing the word “teacher,” but rethinking the images behind the word.

Does society really understand the complexity of the job? The impact teachers have? What educators do on a daily basis? And how can we create dialogue around the complexity of the word, “teacher?”

Taryl Hansen and I decided to collaborate and spearhead the challenge. We asked educators: What are synonyms for the word “teacher?” What does it mean #tobeateacher? We crowdsourced ideas on Twitter and Facebook and created images for each concept, captured in the video above. Now we are asking you to take it one step further and continue the national dialogue.

Please join the conversation. Here are our asks:

  •  On Twitter, follow the hashtags and add your thoughts:
  • Bloggers: What are your thoughts? Write about your ideas. Encourage others to do the same.
  • Share your ideas via social networks. Spark conversation.
  • Engage your colleauges! 
  • Organizations and groups of stakeholders: What projects or ideas do you have around the idea? How can we help society really understand the complexity of the job, the changing role of an educator?

Let’s really explore the meaning of the word “teacher.” Share your ideas below…

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  • Barbara W-F

    Complexities of teaching

    Megan and Taryl,

    pone idea I have always had to “show” the complexities of the work that we do every day and something that might tie into your idea exploring what the word teacher means is to videotape one teacher teaching a full class period.  Afterwards go back into the video and add those little pop up word bubbles with all the observations and decisions that teacher is making minute by minute…ex.  Ah, Johnny eyes are glazing over..I’ll move closer to him and ask him a clarifying question to make sure he is following the conversation…Suzie had a difficult night at home..she seems to be really laying attention..I’ll make sure to say something positive about her behavior today and encourage her to keep It up…5 minutes to bell..need to wrap up…etc.   


    just an an idea that I have had for several years now that I think would really bring home what we do every day…all the split second decisions we make in addition to the planning, etc.

    barbara w-f