When you teach online, many of your skills and achievements go unnoticed.
Your colleagues don’t see you often.
They don’t really know that much about you.
And your students read your emails, and respond to your feedback.
But overall, they know less about you than your colleagues do.
This kind of invisibility is certainly frustrating.
But even worse – it can also damage your career, and your job satisfaction.
When no-one knows about your achievements, you often run into two problems…
- You’re overlooked for career opportunities, and
- Students are less likely to respect your opinion, and more likely to question your judgement.
What if you could address both those problems – and it would only take about 10 minutes?
You just need to update your Teacher Bio.
But Writing About Your Online Teaching Career is Awkward, Right?
We spend most of our days writing – everything from constructive feedback on papers, to reassuring emails.
But when it comes to writing about yourself, it’s very common to hit a wall…
It can be embarrassing to talk about your strengths and achievements.
It feels pushy and somehow egotistical.
But learning how to write an effective online teaching profile is absolutely essential.
How a Good Teacher Bio Makes Your Job Easier
There are so many benefits of getting your online teaching profile right.
A good teacher bio can have magical outcomes.
- Transform you from a faceless instructor to a human being your students can relate to
- Get you more respect from colleagues and students… and
- Help you stand out when it comes to internal career opportunities – because everyone else is your organization has neglected their online teaching profiles too!
This really doesn’t have to be the hardest writing task of the year…
Here’s how to turn your online teacher bio from blah to magic.
5 Essential Elements for a Magical Online Teacher Bio
1. Outline your qualifications and experience
These elements are the cornerstone of your teacher biography.
They do the heavy lifting for you, and explain why you got hired in the first place.
This element is also the best shortcut to establishing your authority.
If you’ve toiled for years to get all those letters after your name, own them and be proud!
2. Summarize your publications
Chances are you do more than simply teach online.
If you’ve written, edited, or consulted on books, articles, blog posts or course materials, people need to know that.
Why not get credit for all your additional work – and at the same time underline that you’re a published expert in your field?
3. Include a little personal information
Nothing weird, of course.
Naturally, choose a personal tidbit that’s appropriate, and shows you in a good light.
If you like hiking, have an impressive collection of tropical fish, or can make a mean cherry cheesecake, for example, these hobbies will add a flourish to your profile.
They make you more approachable.
But not all ‘achievements’ have a place in your teacher bio.
You don’t need to mention that you hold the current world title for the most hotdogs eaten in an hour. Or that your famous chilli is so hot it’s actually landed people in the ER.
You want to engage your readers, not terrify them.
4. Use a warm tone
The primary audience for your teacher bio will be students.
In this electronic age, many students tune out the formal rhetoric they get through official channels.
Now clearly, you don’t have to write your teacher bio like a text message, or adopt an overly casual tone.
But students will respond better to some informality, and a little warmth.
Infuse your online teaching profile with your own voice in a friendly yet professional way.
You’ll make your learners feel more welcome, and part of an engaged learning community.
It’s too easy to not bother with a picture at all – or to use a holiday snap taken the last time you went somewhere exotic (even if that was a decade ago).
But a current photo that’s in focus and clearly shows your smiling face can give a positive boost to your online teacher bio.
After all, we’re communicating in a learning environment that’s missing most of the visual cues that are the norm in a face-to-face classroom.
A photo warms up a setting that some students experience as sterile and cold.
And you can also use your profile picture can as your email avatar.
When your photo appears with every email you send, you remind your students that they’re talking to a real live person who cares about their progress.
When you include these elements in your profile, you increase student engagement. You demonstrate that you’re a flesh and blood professional who deserves their respect.
It takes only a few minutes to improve your online teaching profile – but the increased professional credibility you’ll enjoy will last for much longer.
To learn more about how to reap the career benefits of becoming more visible, take a look at E-learning Stardom, my crash course in getting the professional rewards you deserve.