A teacher wrote to tell me he wasn’t getting any messages from students.
I thought that was curious because I had just spoken to another teacher who told me she was getting plenty of inquiries.
I suspected I already knew the answer. But when I checked out their profiles, it was now clear.
One teacher had a decent photo.
The other teacher did not.
The difference was clear to me.
But how to prove the importance of a photo to a teacher?
Late one night in my teacher laboratory…
I printed, cut and taped Teacher Creature profile photos onto a white piece of paper. (Just the photos. No other info was shown.)
There were three pages in total, eight teachers per page.
I showed this page to my private students and asked each, If you were looking for a teacher on Teacher Creature, which teacher would you click on first?
Here are the winners and some comments I wrote down:
Notice any similarities? Any patterns? What words come up more than once?
Here’s my interpretation.
While in fact almost all of the teachers were chosen at least once, a theme that kept recurring was someone who looks like a teacher.
Does that make sense? Let me explain.
We all have ideas of what people in certain professions look like – banker, DJ, nanny – and with no other information available, we’re looking to match what we see to what we expect to see. In fact, I would say even with overwhelming credentials and references, appearance is still the most important factor.
Would you hire a rapper for your record label who looked like a banker?
Would you hire a spokesman for your bank who looked like a rapper?
Do you want to get hired to teach?
Do you look like a teacher?
The Comments You Never Get To Hear
And finally, some of the negative comments I wrote down were:
“Like a party man”
“On the other pictures I cannot recognize people.” (referring to low quality photos and photos where the teacher was in the background and too small to see)
“I don’t like symbols” (referring to the blue head)
- Look professional
- Look friendly – smile
- Use a quality photo
- LOOK LIKE A TEACHER