I started this blog back in 2010. I had just bought a house out in the suburbs and suddenly found myself with no extra cash and nothing to do (except for commuting to the city and tending to my 2 year old). At the same time I, forever the news junkie, came to realize that there was a pretty big movement against teachers and the teaching profession underway. I'm not one of these guys who's easily able to sit and write for hours on end -and I'm definitely not a person who you'd think would be a blogger (of all things)- but I just didn't have a hobby! Given all that was happening in the ed. world and my own personal life, starting an edu blog seemed to be the natural thing to do. It certainly seemed like a good idea at the time! Any idiot can write (many of them do. Some under their real names!) and I thought that if I could figure out a way to get people to read the words that this idiot here wrote, maybe people would remember why they empathize with teachers and just maybe they wouldn't go so hard on teaching.
It's now three years later. The recession is over. The one time superintendent of the year will soon be heading off to a jail in Georgia. Michelle Rhee is disgraced. The NYTimes has disbanded it's education desk and Diane Ravitch -once relegated to tweeting her opinion from her couch- is now ruling the blogosphere defending people like me every day. And I, having now owned this house for a few years, have a bit more money in my pocket then I did back then and a few more ways I can be spending my free time.
While it's fun to write (and to read) and to be a bit more informed and active than what I once was, and while I've met some awesome friends along the way, I have to tell you that this blog, once it grew, brought with it one unending burden; people actually expect you to write stuff!
I hate doing what's expected of me! Deep down, any man does. On the one hand, if the man doesn't do what's expected of him, people are disappointed because he hasn't done it.. On the other hand, if he does do what's expected of him and, like me, he really doesn't like pleasing people for the sake of pleasing them, he does sub-par work and people come away feeling disappointed because he hasn't done a good enough job! Yuk! There's a running joke in my house whenever my wife asks me to clean the shed: "Daddy's going out for cigarettes" the joke starts. "He'll be back in ten years."
This is just one the reasons why for the past six months or so, this blog has felt more like an albatross around my neck and less like a cool way to spend a few hours each week. To be perfectly honest, I've been looking for a way to let it go for sometime now. But there is this War Against Teachers happening. Have you heard? And it needs every little voice defending teachers and teaching (and everything that makes being a teacher the best job in the world) that it can get. That's a pretty important key to the new social media movement: Each perspective needs a hundred little voices (like this one) in order for the web of opinion to grow. Given those realities, dropping a blog that could potentially generate so many page views seemed like a plain dumb idea.
Luckily I found a guy to help me with my dilemma! I found a New York City teacher who was willing take this blog over and keep writing. Like me, he's smart and a good writer. Like me, he doesn't jam his opinion down the reader's throat, opting instead for an approach that delicately illustrates his perspective and lets the reader draw a final conclusion. Like me, he's going to remain anonymous and write here every so often to make sure folks remember what the world is like from a teachers' perspective. But unlike me, the next post you read on the doenuts blog will be from him. He's going to be the one who approves your comments, reads your emails and involves himself in the public ed. discussion moving forward. And unlike me, he'll be constant and deliberate with what he chooses to say or do. He'll be the only owner of the doenuts accounts after today. I am thankful that he said yes. My guess is he'll turn this blog into one the biggest there is.
Now I'd love to say that writing and reading about ed. issues has been fun and I'd love to say that I enjoyed reading, considering and approving all of your wonderful comments, emails and tweets. The truth, however, is that it really, it hasn't. This blog was created during a low point in American history (the Great Recession) in my profession (the War Against Teachers) and in my life (don't ever buy a house in the suburbs if Brooklyn is your one true love). So not being engaged with edu issues, not reading your comments, not reading and responding to emails and tweets for hours and hours on end (and never commenting on Gotham Schools again!) will probably be one of the best things to happen to me since I started teaching!
That's not to say that it hasn't been fun. It's always great to come in contact with people who share your general opinion. In my case, I came in contact with people who were smarter, better informed (almost always forgiving of my ignorance) and more experienced than I ever wanted to be. (That's why, if you've sent me an email in the past, you shouldn't worry about your privacy. I actually have a profound respect for everyone who has ever bothered to drop me a line and I'll be deleting my inbox before I hand over the passwords). But it hasn't been enough fun for me to stick around one minute longer. I intend to spend a lot of time on the beach and with my friends & family as I go out and enjoy some of those rights I've been writing to defend! And I don't intend to feel the slightest bit guilty about it either.
In the meantime, kindly keep this blog in your readers on your sidebars. Believe it or not, I searched high and low for a writer similar enough to make you even forget that the blog has a new author.
Blogging is hard work.ReplyDelete
I've been posting since 2005, first at the old Reality-Based Educator site, then filling in here and there at NYC Educator's site, then at Perdido Street School.
I've been all over the map in terms of focus over those years - politics, economic collapse, education, to name a few - although lately I've kinda settled into politics/education issues as they affect working people/schools/students/teachers as my focus. That seems to be the most coherent way to go about things.
There are times I have taken a break from posting and one or two "retirements" when I swore I was done with the whole business. But them some horror show in the news would tear me out of my silence and soon I'd be back blogging again.
I'm finding that it's easier to blog now that the war on teachers has turned just a little in the mainstream media from a slam dunk meme "Of course it's bad teachers!" to "Maybe it's not bad teachers?" As the skeptics on testing, Common Core and teacher evaluations tied to Danielson/tests become more prominent, it doesn't feel so isolated anymore.
I dunno, on some level, blogging's just become part of me. Something will happen and I'll read about it or hear about it and think "How do I frame this in a post?"
Still, I totally understand your need to move on. And I totally get how you started the blog at a low point so getting away from it signals better times.
That said, if you get a hankering to come back some time in the future, even for a guest post or two, you should.
At any rate, good luck to you, NYCDOENUTS. Have a great summer!
Ditto from Ed Notes. You're always welcome to guest post. I enjoyed reading your comments and more importantly, getting to know you. You're work with MORE added an important and much neeeded point of view. See you at the beach where now that you have money, you're buying.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your great work on this blog and twitter! Enjoy the summer.ReplyDelete
I came close to this very same letter having shut down a blog I wrote for about 2 years. I wish you well and have enjoyed your insights. Best of luck and feel free to drop me a comment.ReplyDelete
Hey all, Old doenuts here. I just wanted to say thanks very much for the kind words (and all of the support over the last few years). Blogging is totally a way of life and, given that this topic (edu) requires at least 800 per post, I'm just so done with it. Yet another reason why I admire you all so much.ReplyDelete
Although you will be missed greatly, I am sure the new DOEnuts guy will do a fine job. I have to thank you for blogging..and many others because without some of you-I would certainly be less informed. Also, in times of deep aggravation- I knew I could turn to you guys for support, guidance, and information. Your writing is wonderful and fresh... And wish you the best...thanks a million....and warn the new writer about me.ReplyDelete