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As the culmination of our month long articles about teacher branding, we want to highlight educators who decided to Megan_Mottley_Headshotuse their skills in the classroom to literally build their own brands. Today we are highlighting  Ms. Megan Mottley, Publisher of DIVINE Magazine.
1.  Give us some backgrounds of your experiences in education. I’m a former 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher. Middle school students  were an interesting bunch to teach but I am grateful for the relationships that was cultivated with young men and young women who have since graduated from high school, enrolled into college/trades schools and are evolving into productive citizens. I believe in the years that I taught I made a difference in the lives of hundreds of students.

2. What did you like the most about being a teacher? What did you like the least?I loved pouring into young
people. In teaching Language Arts, I had the opportunity to prepare students for a state mandated Writing Assessment so it was a joy to help children develop a love for writing.  My least favorite moments were: The disciplinary issues. The hostility at times. The constant changes that trickled down from the top that in my opinion were a disservice to the kids in the end. Students need structure and multiple changes implemented by adults can be distracting and debilitating, making it more difficult for learning to go forth.
3.Explain what made you leave the classroom. I had been working on my publication part-time in addition to teaching for close to four years and was ready for a change. My colleagues had desires to move up as principals, guidance counselors, etc., abut I didn’t have that same desire. I knew it was time for me to pursue my true passion of working on my magazine full-time as well as accomplish other personal goals.
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4. How did you take your brand, DIVINE Magazine, and catapult it to success? I realized that my readers really had a deep desire for the publication. In addition, my advertisers and sponsors shared my vision and were willing to support me to fund the publication. I knew in my heart that I needed to commit more time to my publication so it could really reach its full potential. I stepped out on faith and have not looked back! I’m often asked to speak at schools and groups that focus on youth and I never decline an invitation. I miss pouring into young people and whenever I’m asked, I clear my schedule in order to speak to and encourage young adults. It’s a perfect way for me to put on my “educator” hat throughout the year.
5. What advice would you give other teachers who are ready to work on their brands either in education or in a totally different field? Use the Summer months to conduct focus groups to ensure that there’s truly a need for your brand. Create products that you can give away/share/test out with your colleagues so you can get their feedback. Make solid connections and build relationships with your colleagues because they will be your best support system when and if you decide to exit the classroom. Research. Use the internet to scope out the competition and to set up an online store/site that can give you an idea of whether your product/service is buzz worthy. Lastly, you MUST write a business plan. If you aren’t disciplined enough to do so then I’d say stay in the classroom until you are ready to do so. Being an entrepreneur takes discipline. I wish you all the best!

For fifteen years Franchesca taught English/Language Arts in two urban districts in Atlanta, Georgia,...

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