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Third anniversary post

April 19, 2009 pm30 9:45 pm
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Today is this blog’s third anniversary.

Looking back, I started with an idea and a couple of directions: teacher union stuff in NYC, teaching math, math puzzles, NYC in general.

And while there have been tangents, and there is not as much NYC stuff as I’d intended, things have proceeded more or less as initially conceived.

NY Step streets are largely missing, as is NYC photography in general. It should be possible to remedy those. And including teacher salaries was an interesting idea. They need expansion and updating. And the specific focus on NY State mathematics seems boring, but necessary. And why did I write about vacations? I don’t know, but I do.

Other than that, the biggest surprise has been how many people read this stuff. There are visitors dropping in for salary info. But many more are interested in some other aspect of the content. Site Meter says 424,000 people have viewed 652,000 pages. And that was not expected. Google Reader says there are 186 subscribers to my feed through them, and I’m assuming more through other services. Again, unexpected.

My teaching posts are not of the quality of Frizzle in her heyday, or many other math teacher bloggers (or math teaching bloggers) today. My intra-union political commentary is not as sharp (intentionally) as NYC Educator‘s, nor is it as consistent or funny. My big-picture teachers-in-the-US posts can’t match Fred or his brother. My big-picture education in NYC posts pale next to NYC Public School parents. My salary data is spotty, and, depending on district, up to two years out of date. And I can’t be institutional, like EdWize. Rather than focus on just one area, I’ve developed a mixture. Right? Wrong? It doesn’t matter. This mixture is this blog, for better or worse.

The direction I developed most in the last year was the focus on new teachers. I think the salary info is valuable. But there was the series of Teaching Fellow posts from last summer, the bits of starting school advice, and of course, the Do Not Apply list.

Helping new teachers become experienced teachers is worthwhile. It helps all of us to have experienced colleagues. It helps students to have experienced teachers. Experienced teachers add stability to schools and to students’ lives.

But Bloomberg and his Chancellor, Rhee and TfA, the Leadership Academy and much of the charter movement, all work to create temporary teachers. In NYC they set unqualified administrators loose and violate contractual rights, abuse teachers, drive them out of teaching. They restructure and rearrange and slice and dice our schools, and in the disorganization leave many of our teachers, especially our new teachers, unprotected.

Organizing new teachers into their chapters, organizing chapters where they don’t exist, helping new teachers learn to teach, all are important. As a union we should be measured by our record standing up for our weakest and most vulnerable members.

The math, and math puzzles, and math pedagogy will remain. But standing up for new teachers, developing the capacity to stand up for new teachers, and helping new teachers stand up, helping all teachers, experienced and new, come together to retake what is ours, those will continue to be topics of the highest importance on this blog.

Thank you for reading this far.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2009 pm30 11:05 pm 11:05 pm

    Happy anniversary! You’ve been doing a great job. Keep it up.

  2. April 19, 2009 pm30 11:19 pm 11:19 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. April 19, 2009 pm30 11:43 pm 11:43 pm

    Congrats! I think you’ve struck a very readable balance here, and your voice is very valuable. Keep it up.

  4. preaprez permalink
    April 20, 2009 am30 12:52 am 12:52 am

    Happy Anniversary. You’re a blogger no teacher who cares about what they do should ever miss reading.

  5. T36chBx permalink
    April 20, 2009 am30 1:45 am 1:45 am

    I read this blog almost everyday, mostly for the union stuff and Do Not Apply list. Working at one of the schools on that list, I can say I wish I knew before I started… But this is how it is, and this blog helps keep me going. I’ll be more informed next time. I love this blog, even the math teacher stuff (I teach science). Keep up your excellent work.

  6. April 20, 2009 am30 3:53 am 3:53 am

    I enjoy the mixture. Happy Anniversary!

  7. April 20, 2009 pm30 6:13 pm 6:13 pm

    here’s to three more.
    the math stuff’s great and is what brought me here
    in the first place but the nyc public school stuff is *vital*.
    i don’t know of another project that’s at all *like* it.

    i suppose if i had more than a tangential interest
    i’d check out the NYC parents thing you cite…
    and maybe i will… but it’s *teachers* i want to hear from
    (and they generally seem to want to talk about
    other things than the “job” aspects of The Art–
    and no wonder– or believe in their hearts that
    going along with the declared enemies of learning
    is the best we can do). math teachers in particular.

    i have no very realistic idea how many readers i’ve earned;
    the wordpress counter that comes along with the blog for free
    appears to be almost useless and my brief efforts to learn
    about more sophisticated ways of estimating this number
    have frustrated me (predictably).

    certainly your numbers are impressive. if we keep in mind
    that your readers are actually *interested in what you’re saying*
    and that the millions reached by bully-pulpit propaganda masters
    (cough michelle rhee cough)
    must in the nature of the case consist almost entirely of
    the cynical and the indifferent, they suggest that what we have here
    is in the nature of a *real threat* to the enemies of the community.

    three years is longer than i’ve been at it and *that* feels like forever.
    thanks for sticking with this. it’s one of my favorites (and [as you know]
    i read one heck of a *lot* of blogs).

  8. April 20, 2009 pm30 7:36 pm 7:36 pm

    Congratulations, and here’s wishing you many more!

  9. April 21, 2009 am30 4:03 am 4:03 am

    That’s a nice compliment, thanks. Your work here is appreciated.

  10. Pogue permalink
    April 22, 2009 am30 3:45 am 3:45 am

    You do a nice job. Congratulations.

  11. April 22, 2009 pm30 6:35 pm 6:35 pm

    Happy blog-birthday John. You were one of the first maths blogs I discovered and I have been reading your stuff ever since.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  12. April 22, 2009 pm30 7:45 pm 7:45 pm

    Congratulations!

  13. April 23, 2009 am30 6:38 am 6:38 am

    You bring great clarity and insights to whatever topic you tackle. Great teachers never stop teaching. Thanks for the blog and for even more for teaching in our city.

    Patrick

  14. April 24, 2009 am30 3:59 am 3:59 am

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  15. April 24, 2009 am30 4:49 am 4:49 am

    I wish this blog could be judged by the caliber of the commenters on this post.

    Thanks to each and every one of you for your kind words and good wishes.

    Jonathan

  16. Marianna permalink
    April 30, 2009 pm30 9:52 pm 9:52 pm

    Jonathan, thank you so much for the work you do! I am a new teacher and going through some difficult times, it makes me feel better there are some people out there who care. I wasn’t intending to become a temporary teacher, but I’m afraid I might end up in that category. I’m not ready to give up yet, but the school where I taught last year definitely should be on the DNA list. It’s a great idea to put such a list together.
    It’s good to hear that it’s not just my lack of experience that put me into this situation, but that there are some bigger than me political and structural circumstances that probably have contributed to it.

    Thank again and please keep doing this!

    Best,
    Marianna

  17. May 2, 2009 pm31 5:33 pm 5:33 pm

    Marianna,

    good for you for trying to survive… It is not easy going from being a certified teacher with no experience to someone who can both teach kids effectively and survive the system… And it’s especially not easy here, in New York, today.

    If you have information for the Do Not Apply list, please share it (either here, or better, e-mail me at [this blog name] – at gmail.

  18. jrubin permalink
    April 4, 2013 am30 10:23 am 10:23 am

    on teachers salaries, i found someone’s comment to be excellent.
    using the suggested website, was a great look into ny state, all contracts, all districts..
    http://www.seethroughny.net
    see through ny is a site that organizes and posts all contracts between school boards and teachers, administrators… with teacher salary tables usually attached at the end…
    thanks,
    still looking around you site for math stuff.
    nice stuff
    thank you

  19. August 6, 2014 pm31 9:53 pm 9:53 pm

    Right here is the perfect web site for everyone who really wants to
    understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough
    to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has been discussed for
    years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

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