It has been one year since the folks here at Education Week decided that it made sense to have a blog to cover the policy and politics of teachers. And what a year!
It’s been a huge learning experience for me. I’ve gotten some great reactions to it and “linky love” from bloggers whom I respect and obsessively read, like Gotham Schools’ Elizabeth Green and Eduwonk, but also from teachers, administrators and union folks who write in and keep their own blogs. I appreciate hearing from all my readers, even those who have been critical of certain items (John Thompson, your comments always give me food for thought, whether or not we agree.) Without you, this blog wouldn’t have lasted this long.
I’ve struggled to learn the ropes of blogging style. (I can still hear my editor: “Steve, a blog item cannot be 1,000 words!”) I’ve run up across weird things I never could have anticipated, like the frightening number of people who land on this site by Google-ing “teacher beats student.”
I’ve learned that blogging makes covering some events much more lively and entertaining. I had a ball covering the NEA convention this year, for instance. Confetti! Dennis Van Roekel’s keynote! Felt sunflowers! Bob Chanin’s farewell! Linda “Bon Jovi” Darling-Hammond’s award! (Click here and scroll down for the coverage).
I’ve also learned that it’s hard to balance straight-up policy coverage with the color reporting people expect from blogs. One of the items people either loved or hated was this one on Randi Weingarten’s take on the Duncan administration—and her fab yoga arms.
I’ve used this forum to report out interesting tidbits that didn’t make it into full EdWeek stories, and to ruminate over ideas that eventually became full stories. I’ve done hard news, conceptual pieces, and analysis.
But most of all, I mean for Teacher Beat to be your forum, too. So as we head for birthday No. 2, I encourage you to make use of the comment function to share your reactions, your insights, and personal stories from your own districts and classrooms.
You can also e-mail me directly to share story ideas, commentary, or critiques. What am I covering that you find helpful? What am I missing out on?
Thanks for joining me on this adventure.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.