I noticed a trend at ISTE that I had not seen before (quite possibly because I just wasn’t paying attention in the past). The title on most people’s nametags was long. Sometimes this was because the individual is a central office person with a long title; sometimes the title involved some sort of consulting or educational business title. Others were teachers whose titles were quite specific: Language Arts Teacher Upper Elementary or such. My nametag (and I certainly wasn't alone) said, “Teacher.”
My first reaction when I noticed this was that my nametag was a bit lame. I should have been more specific, maybe First Grade Teacher. As I thought about it I changed my mind. “Teacher” is my title, it is my job, it is what I do.
I don’t mind the more specific, longer titles. That said, I do begin to wonder if the title of “Teacher” is viewed negatively. Do people feel a need to put more elaborate titles because those will be treated with more respect?
The Northern Virginia Writing Project Summer Institute started today so I'm trying to wrap up writing about my thoughts from ISTE, knowing that soon they'll be lost in the new thinking.
For your conference name badge, I suggest choosing descriptors of who you are rather than what you do.
My "business" card (not provided by my employer) reads "Educator, Blogger, Learner, Geek". More descriptive of who I am than the largely meaningless title assigned by district.
Tim, you've got me thinking that my big problem with people's complex titles might be that they've let someone else define them. Interesting.
I like 'teacher' - I always prefer simplicity.
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