This was not the blog post I planned to right today. My intention was to continue sharing ways that we can add value to FACS teaching by incorporating core academic content. Trust me we will get back to that topic tomorrow. However, I was inspired to select a different topic after spending time in the beauty salon yesterday.
I hope you won’t be disappointed to learn that I won’t be sharing any beauty tips or hair styling secrets. Those are really not my areas of expertise. What I want to encourage you to think about today is just how much knowledge and expertise we as FACS professionals have to share not only with our students but with our communities. How does this all tie together? Well, let me explain.
You have to remember that my husband and I live in a community of about 5,000 residents, most of whom have lived in our little town most of their lives. I taught at the high school here for 25 years. During that time I earned the reputation of being our town’s version of “Martha Stewart” because I know a lot about a lot of things that affect people’s daily lives—food, nutrition, money management, sewing, decorating, stain removal, etc., etc., etc. The bottom line is that I am well known in our little town mostly due to my connection to FACS. Now if you’re thinking that this description fits you, too, you’ve already grasped the point of this blog post.
During this relatively brief visit to the local beauty salon (FYI—My stylist is a former student.), I was asked for a copy of a cookie recipe that my students developed and used as the basis for a successful student enterprise. I also had the opportunity to share some expertise on wine and local wineries, the architectural style of the houses in an historic neighborhood in town and how to get started on Pinterest. I was also asked my opinion about resurfacing kitchen cabinets and redecorating kitchens in general. Now, please understand that I’m not sharing this information to brag. What would I have to brag about? These are things that are part of the territory for every FACS professional, right?
My point is simply this—you have a wealth of information and knowledge to share with the people in your community! When you share that information, you help your friends and neighbors and you can also reap some impressive benefits. By being well versed in your subject matter you are better able to answer questions and share your expertise, thus making people sit up and take notice of just how diverse and useful the FACS curriculum really is. I have built my reputation in our small community through years of personal connections. You should be actively and intentionally building those same connections in your own community today!
Use all of the diverse digital connections available in our very social world to build your reputation as a knowledgeable FACS professional. That means instead of only sharing photos of you and your family or friends on your social media sites, share something practical and interesting, as well. Having difficulty imaging what that might be? Here are a few examples:
- Share links to sites or tidbits of information that can help people save money at the grocery store. Share an app or website that you’ve found that will help shoppers save like thegrocerygame.com
- Share tips on storing leftovers after Thanksgiving.
- Write a short review of a new product or service you’ve discovered.
- Share photos of a decorating or gardening projects you or your students have successfully completed.
- Share practical advice such as stain removal tips. Pinterest is a great place to go for solutions to share.
- Create a Pinterest board devoted to FACS related topics and share the link to it with your friends and followers.
- Share a short recipe or quick food preparatlon tip.
- Share weight loss or healthy eating tips. Caution: Be sure that the information you share is accurate and factual!
- Share useful parenting and child care tips like the apps mentioned in this article on Parade.com.
The list could go on and on, but I think you have the idea. I guess what I’m really saying is that you need to market yourself as a FACS professional who has a lot more to share that is valuable and current than the general public often assumes. I think the key to the success of this endeavor is to post tips and useful information often, make what you share is timely, relevant and entertaining, if possible. It’s also important that the tone of your posts be friendly and conversational. Emulating Martha Stewart’s level of expertise is good, but modeling her haughty, abrasive personality is not. It’s a fine line to walk, but I know you can do it.
The holidays offer tons of opportunities to share useful and interesting tidbits. BTW—feel free to share anything from any of my blog posts, FB posts or tweets. They’re all there for your edification. That really sounded like the haughty side of MS, didn’t it? Sorry! Now get out there and show the world what FACS is all about!! Share what you’ve learned! Your students, your community and you will be better off for the effort!