Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Blog!

On May 25, 2006, frustrated by the school closure and consolidation plan, but invigorated by the discussions I had with others around the district during meetings and hearings, I started this blog. I was completely new to blogging -- I didn't read any blogs on a regular basis, and I had never created one -- but I was determined to do something, and it needed to be something I could do in the evenings from home, after work and putting kids to bed.

It was a great decision for me. The research and writing I have done for the blog, has provided a great form of professional development, pushing me to learn more about K-12 education issues, both in Seattle and elsewhere around the state and the country. But it has been reading others' posts and comments that has provided me with the greatest insights and the best learning.

Inviting other experienced education advocates, like Charlie Mas, Andrew Kwatinetz, Mel Westbrook, and Johnny Calcagno, to be blog contributors gave me and other readers a chance to learn from their experiences and hear their perspectives. Then, recently, I was lucky enough to get a willing and committed teacher, Michael Rice, to join as a blog contributor to widen the perspectives shared on this blog further.

In recent months, I have considered closing this blog, questioning its purpose and my ability to continue to devote time to it. However, after discussions with several people whose opinions I value, I've concluded that this blog is serving an important purpose by increasing communication about important issues facing our school and creating a sense of shared community that is not tied to a particular school, program, or area of the city.

I also believe this blog should continue to change. When Brita Butler-Wall finishes her term as a School Board member, she will be joining the blog as a contributor. (Hurray!) I encourage any teachers, district staff, and parents who believe they could add a different perspective to this blog to contact me about becoming a contributor as well. In addition, if you have suggestions about how this blog could/should change and/or topics you would like to see covered, please e-mail those ideas to me.

3 comments:

Kathleen Brose said...

Beth - I just discovered this blog a few months ago, and now I check it daily. It is an informative forum where people can express their concerns about Seattle Public Schools. I enjoy reading all the comments and I have learned a few things as well. We can't improve our schools without critical discussion, both negative and positive. So keep on blogging!

Zippo said...

I also check on this blog daily. I really appreciate the time and energy everyone spends here. I have learned a lot from all the perspectives posted. My one minor complaint, which has nothing to do with you, Beth, is all the anonymous posts. I get confused if they are all the same person or not. Maybe it is just me.....but I wish more people would use initials, or identify what school their kids go to, to differentiate between all the anonymous posts. Thanks again.

Michael Rice said...

Beth

Thank you for you kind words about me. I want you to know that I read this blog everyday and I have turned other teachers on to it also. A few of them have commented, though they never sign their name. I want to say that you should continue this blog. Movers and shakers in the district read this blog and I believe that this forum makes a difference. I will continue to post and comment as my schedule allows, and I really enjoy reading what other people write.