One teacher called it "apple crapple" — that shiny red symbol that has so long been associated with the virtues of teaching. But blackboards, apples and pencils no longer represent the role teachers play in society nor do these images give teaching the same revered perception as other professions. What if we were to "re-brand" the teaching profession?
Is it possible to bring creativity, vibrancy and innovative thinking to the idea of what teachers do? Kate Ahern of Haverhill, Mass. wrote to public radio show Studio 360 begging for an overhaul of teacher rebranding.
"Teaching isn't, and hasn't been, about chalkboards, apples, abc's and 123's or summer off for many, many years," she wrote. "We don't all wear horrible primary colored cardigan's with alphabet blocks on them. We are highly educated, in many states, including mine, a teacher must have a dual degree in their area of specialty and teaching - plus a master's degree... Part of the reason why we can be scapegoated and thrown under the truck so easily is our branding is atrocious."
Studio 360 asked Hyperakt, a New York City design firm, to take a whack at it--and what they've come up with is quite intriguing.
Deroy Peraza, Hyperakt principal and creative director, talked about the project on The Daily Circuit Tuesday.
"We were trying to be careful in showing that teachers don't tell you what you do; they facilitate learning and help maximize potential," Peraza said. "This dynamic was central. We wanted it to feel like a teacher's a guide and maximizes your potential as a student."
Renee Gosline, assistant professor of marketing at MIT Sloan School of Management, also joined the discussion.
"A brand is not product, not a trademark, not something you hold in your hand," Gosline said. "It's a set of associations. It's co-created by consumers."
Video: Studio 360 Redesigns Teachers