Should Teachers Be On LinkedIn?

March 25th, 2011 | by Jason Alba |

Last week I was in the Boston area doing some presentations and a teacher came up and said something like “it sounds like a lot of what you are talking about is for professionals, but I’m a teacher… should I be on LinkedIn?”

My first thought was “isn’t a teacher a professional?”

Unfortunately, and this might be a gross stereotype, teachers had a pretty solid career path that included getting the right education and licenses, getting on at a school, and then working hard for the rest of their careers.

There wasn’t much talk, as far as I know, of networking and branding and job search skills and career management.

It was one of those “safe jobs.”

Times have changed, though, and I don’t know anyone who thinks teaching is a “safe job.”

So, if a teacher is a professional, and they face the same wobbly job security that us “normal” professionals face, doesn’t it make sense for them to do the same job search and career management stuff that we do?

I think so!

I did a search for elementary teacher on LinkedIn and got 11,760 results.

I did a search for secondary teacher on LinkedIn and got 3,410 results.

I did a search for elementary teacher on LinkedIn and got 12,407 results.

I did a search for professor on LinkedIn and got 396,538 results.

What do you think?  If you were a teacher would you get on LinkedIn, or should you just wait for something else? :p

 

 

  1. 3 Responses to “Should Teachers Be On LinkedIn?”

  2. By Carol on Mar 25, 2011 | Reply

    Teachers are definitely professionals who should explore all the capabilities of LinkedIn and of JibberJobber for that matter. Just as much as other professionals they may want to target a specific school or University to seek employment, they have certifications and educational requirements that are similar to other professionals. In addition, it is others in a Group or at a specific geographic location may know where the ‘hidden’ jobs are or what local constraints there are on openings for teachers. And certainly networking will give any teacher additional information from colleagues about the schools, colleges or Universities that they may target! Sounds like a requirement for networking and job acquisition management that LinkedIn and JibberJobber provide!

  3. By Brad Merrill on Mar 25, 2011 | Reply

    My first thought was if a teacher isn’t a professional who is? They have continuing education requirements – much like other professions (legal, accounting, insurance, finance among others) only with the downside that it takes more of their income to pay for such training.

    I am a adjunct faculty member at a local career college and yes I have to do some CE in addition to any that my profession requires of me. (I am in accounting but not a CPA)

    I have several relatives that teach in either elementary or secondary school systems and having spent time in a classroom myself appreciate how hard their job really is. My students are their because a) they want to be and b) have paid thousands of dollars to be their. Both of the ones I am thinking of work in the public school systems. I don’t think it registers with students in those institutions that their parents (and many others like myself who do not have children in the system) are paying for their education with our tax dollars.

  4. By Deb Dib on Mar 26, 2011 | Reply

    It’s an interesting question, Jason. On the surface it seems like a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t teachers be on LinkedIn? On the other hand, teachers often want a wall of separation between themselves and their students. Especially in these difficult times where teachers are targets in some schools, jobs are on the line, tenure may be falling, and merit pay/retention is on the horizon (a good thing, but subject to abuse, as it is anywhere).

    I wonder if having teachers searchable on LinkedIn opens up too much information to potentially problematic people? Teachers are vulnerable — they have students (and parents) who love them, sometimes too much, and students (and parents) who dislike them, sometimes too much.

    My son (27) is a middle school social studies teacher in New York City; his girlfriend is a high school social studies teacher on Long Island. Both of them are outstanding, dedicated, energetic young professionals. They love their jobs and kids, but they are VERY careful to keep their personal life personal, Facebook private, and home location hidden.

    As a career pro I think, yes, LinkedIn for teachers, of course! As a mom I think, do I want my son exposed to the downside of too much visibility? Yet with teachers’ jobs in flux everywhere, professional presence on LinkedIn makes sense. A quandary…

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