My New Year’s Post
When I awoke on December 31st, I planned to write my New Year’s post. However, AFT’s 10 Myths rattled my cage, so I spent the better part of the day writing my response.
For me, 2013 has been a remarkable year. How my life has changed, and much of it due to this blog.
I attended college for thirteen years– six for my undergrad; two for my masters, and four for my doctorate. Not once in thirteen years of college did I pull an all-nighter. In fact, I cannot remember staying up past midnight in order to work on any assignment.
I laugh at that idea now, for I cannot count the number of times I have had four (or fewer) hours of sleep because I wanted to write a post for this blog. I consider doing so to be well worth my time.
Apparently readers nationwide (some, even worldwide) believe reading my work is well worth their time, also. It used to be that a google search of my name produced only automobile ads.
On Christmas Day, my mother and I stopped by her neighbor’s to say hello. Her neighbor told me that she heard discussion of my book on a local talk radio show.
Regarding my filming the Michigan Board of Education testimony, one of my students looked at me somewhat perplexed and said, “You must really be famous for people in other states to want you to speak in their meetings.” Her surprised facial expression made me smile.
To my students, I am “just Dr. Schneider,” part of their everyday routine.
I have a lot happening on the ed reform front, not the least of which is the upcoming publication of my book. I wrote it mostly during the summer, between May and July, while recovering from major surgery (which I wrote about in my Thanksgiving post).
The last word is that my book “is in the queue to be typeset probably [this] week.”
My book is already having an impact locally. My sister’s seven-year-old, Camille, told her mother (my sister’s partner) some months back that she was “writing a book, just like Sugar.” (Sugar is one of her names for me. The other is Auntie M.)
Camille writing her book, “just like Sugar.”
This evening I was at my sister’s to celebrate New years Eve. It was a low-key affair, just six of us (my sister, her partner, three kids, and me). Between bouts of lighting fireworks, I was checking my mail and my blog, and Camille was asking about my blog. She wanted to know the names of people who read it, so I read her some names of those who follow.
I showed her my blog homepage, and she was reading it aloud– it was the AFT post I had just written. The vocabulary was challenging for her at seven years old. After I helped her read the word “federation,” she asked me what it meant. It told her a federation is a group.
Later that evening, I asked her what a federation was.
She responded quickly, “A group.”
Teachers. Always looking for those teachable moments.
January 2, 2013, was a pivotal day for me and for my writing. In December 2012, at the suggestion of my activist colleague Lee Barrios, I had written a paper for legislators regarding the problems with value added modeling (VAM). A recent acquaintance by the blog name Crazycrawfish suggested I send it to Diane Ravitch.
I did so.
On January 2, 2013, I had the following email:
I will be pleased to post this on my blog, if you wish. It will go out to a national audience.
On January 25, 2013, again at the suggestion of Lee Barrios, I started my own blog. To date (including this piece), I have written 153 posts.
Diane Ravitch has been gracious enough to post approximately 85 of them. Thank you, Diane.
Yes, indeed. It has been a remarkable year.
Happy 2014, all.
Thank you for reading and sharing my writing, and thank you for fighting alongside of me for American public education.
God bless you.