5/12 – Have been having problems with my site. I’m still in the process to resolving them so folks may have intermittent access! Sorry for the confusion… I’m trying to work things out!
4/16 – Took nearly 4 weeks to do chapter 8, but it was another long chapter. Realize I haven’t been updating this for each chapter, so I should go back and do that!
3/20 – Well chapter 7 was long and it took almost 5 weeks… ugh!
2/16 – Took just 2 weeks for chapter 6, tho it WAS a shorter one. Trending well!
2/2 – Took a little more than 3 weeks to do chapter 5. I’d like to be able to stick with 3 weeks per chapter!
1/9 – Took 25 days for CC chapter 4, but had the holidays in there, but happy to keep moving forward!
12/15 – Took 23 days for chapter 3 of CC. A bit longer that chapter 2, but still less than a month. Hoping to push it down to more like 2 weeks per chapter!
11/22 – Took just 18 days to write the second chapter of CC. Will try to keep up the pace!
11/4 – Posted first chapter of “Clubius Contained”. Hoping to be able to up my writing production to get thru what should be about a 40 chapter story in 2 or 3 years!
10/14 – Now pondering on getting started on the follow up novel, “Clubius” Contained”, my narrative about my elementary school years from ages 5 to 11.
10/13 – Posted the final chapter of “Clubius Incarnate”. I had written a good chunk of it before, so it didn’t take as long to complete it. I am very pleased to have written a story from the point of view of a 3 to 5 year old, something I’m at least not aware of having been done before!
10/7 – As I work on the final chapter of “Clubius Incarnate”, I am also beginning to update my written “Two Inch Heels” introduction and chapters based on the updated version that I recorded for my podcast.
9/29 – Posted 40th chapter. Shorter than previous ones with more interior monologue than dialogue. Second to last chapter trying to wrap things up and set the stage for the next story, “Clubius Contained”, where I go to elementary school.
9/9 – Posted 39th chapter. Long and complicated, including reviewing the movie in detail.
8/3 – Posted 38th chapter. Longest one so far with a fair amount of research and crown sourcing about trip to the stadium and the events of the actual game.
6/24 – Posted 37th chapter. Quicker chapter, just took me 2 1/2 weeks.
6/7 – Posted 36th chapter. Another long one. Hope to complete this story with planned 5 more chapters!
5/3 – Posted 35th chapter. Seem to be able to put out one chapter a month.
4/7 – Posted 34th chapter. A particularly long one but with a lot of dialog.
3/10 – Posted 33rd chapter of Clubius Incarnate. Tried to capture the key movie clips and my reactions.
2/9 – Posted 32nd chapter of Clubius Incarnate. Pushing forward with another maybe eight chapters to go, tho multitasking with my Two Inch Heels podcasting.
1/21 – Posted 31st chapter of Clubius Incarnate. Closest thing I’ve written to situation comedy, but with a poignant ending!
12/9 – Finally posted chapter 30 of Clubius Incarnate, just 10 more planned chapters to go! Shooting to finish by maybe the end of April.
12/6 – Been focused on getting my podcasts of “Two Inch Heels” up on the various podcasting sites. Have an intro and first 12 chapters posted, just 41 more to go!
12/2 – Still working on chapter 30 of Clubius Incarnate, but have now posted an intro & first 10 chapters of Two Inch Heels podcast!
11/22 – Started on chapter 30 but have shifted focus for the moment to trying to publish my audio chapters of Two Inch Heels on Podbean and Apple Podcasts.
11/14 – So much for cadence! Just posted chapter 29, a very long one with several levels of story to address!
10/19 – Keeping that cadence of a new chapter every two weeks. This one, 28, built around another of my interesting developmental experiences watching TV.
10/7 – Getting into maybe a flow of posting a new chapter every two weeks! This one, 27, wasn’t part of my original outline for “Clubius Incarnate” but kind of came out of nowhere.
9/25 – This chapter 26 was rewritten based on an earlier piece I wrote about my dad.
9/15 – Got this latest chapter 25 of “Clubius Incarnate” relatively quickly and hope this momentum can grow!
9/2 – After working on or at it all summer, I finally was able to post my next “Clubius Incarnate” chapter, “Nursery School”. Turned out was very difficult to reconstruct a home-based pre-school in the late 1950s in progressive Ann Arbor, then build a whole story leading up to my one vivid memory of pleading with a kid thru the fence to get me out of there.
8/26 – Finally got my “Two Inch Heels” summary page properly updated referencing the new five opening chapters. Still in the process of renumbering all the old chapters.
8/25 – Have taken a break from “Clubius Incarnate” to try creating podcast episodes for “Two Inch Heels”, and in the process ending up rewriting the first three chapters into now five chapters. Posting the podcasts are still TBD at this point.
6/14 – Just 2 weeks to get out chapter 22 tho about half as long as the previous one, written as a recap by my character rather than scenes with dialog.
5/30 – Getting back in the groove of writing after my transition into retirement. Chapter 21 is quite long and chocked full of stuff as I start to develop that ‘tude befitting a four year old.
4/25 – Finally got chapter 20 posted, pushing the story forward up to my fourth birthday.
3/14 – These chapters of my early youth, including chapter 19 just posted seem so much harder to render, since I’m pretty much making up so much of the detail based on my few slivers of memory and what I was told.
2/14 – Another long slog with chapter 18, recreating the Christmas I spent at my grandparents house and trying to bring all my family members’ characters alive.
1/10 – I rewrote the intro paragraphs for my “Two Inch Heels” memoir to try to better capture the gist of the thing and make a more compelling case to a potential reader.
12/19 – Finally got this very challenging chapter 17 posted after sharing a draft with my aunt Pat and getting her input. This writing is much more challenging given I am writing as a very young person and obviously have no written journal to base my pieces on.
11/6 – This piece was half written back a year and a half ago when I decided to rewrite Two Inch Heels, and now I have finally gotten back to this very different “imagined memoir” from the point of view of a truly young person!
10/24 – Final chapter rewrite completed. A great deal of emotion for me to let this thing go and be what it will be, and moving on!
10/18 – Chapter 44, another quick rewrite. Almost done! Hope to have the last chapter polished off next weekend!
10/16 – Another quick rewrite of chapter 43, a climax of sorts and another one of my favorites.
10/11 – A quick rewrite of chapter 42.
10/4 – I read the new posted version of 41 and felt I needed to make more updates.
10/3 – Rewrite of chapter 41, one of my favorites.
9/27 – Rewrite of chapter 40.
9/19 – Now a particularly long chapter but sticking to my weekly pace, a rewrite of chapter 39.
9/12 – Still on a cadence of one piece a week, posted rewrite of chapter 38.
9/5 – On a role with these quicker rewrites, reworked several conversations and posted chapter 37.
8/30 – Another quick rewrite of chapter 36 despite expanding a previously summarized conversation.
8/28 – Was a quick rewrite of the 2nd half of chapter 35, since there were not summarized conversations to build out into the real thing.
8/23 – Broke chapter 35 into two parts, and posted rewrite of the first part, turning the paragraph overview of the conversation in the brewery into a major dialog scene.
8/16 – Rewrite of part 34 included truncating piece at end of initial day and turning the conversation summaries into more real conversation.
8/8 – Rewrite of part 33 took a bit more work, but some nice adds including a song lyric to keep that trend going in every chapter.
8/1 – The rewrite of part 32 was pretty quick, only adding a little dialog to replace dialog summary. It is an interesting decision when to use actual dialog vs summarizing that dialog.
7/26 – After the slog thru 30, just needed a fairly quick rewrite of part 31, again just turning some conversation summary into dialog.
7/25 – Finally posted the rewritten part 30, which I almost let remain pretty much as it was, but then decided to rewrite the summarized conversation as mostly actual dialog and did some serious expansion of the piece.
7/12 – And part 29 B quickly follows with the new title ‘Triumvirate’
7/11 – Posted separated and somewhat updated first half of 29th chapter, still with the ‘Snow Day’ title
7/10 – Posted rewritten 28th chapter, happy that these latest chapters seem to need less rework, and sorry for the length!
7/3 – Posted rewritten 27th chapter, finding a nice pacing to the piece and again some added character dialog and an additional provocative verse for “Marching to Pretoria” coming home from the village pub
6/29 – Posted rewritten 26th chapter, with just some added dialog to flesh out characters and match the continuity of more use of the Cleveland gang in my earlier Italy pieces
6/26 – Posted rewritten 25th chapter, not as extensive rewrite, just part in tunnel. Definitely won’t finish whole thing by August target, but hopefully by end of year
6/14 – Posted rewritten 24th chapter, another fairly extensive rewrite
5/29 – Posted rewritten 23rd chapter, doubling the length of the piece
5/15 – Posted second rewritten half of 22nd chapter, another extensive rewrite
4/19 – Posted first rewritten half of 22nd chapter, probably my biggest most challenging rewrite so far
3/22 – Posted rewritten 21st chapter, with significant additions of dialog
2/29 – Posted second half (part B) of now split 20th chapter, with some significant changes
2/16 – Posted first half (part A) of now split 20th chapter, because it was so long and really now lent itself to division.
2/6 – Posted the second half (part B) of old 19th chapter.
1/31 – Posted first half (part A) of now split in two 19th chapter, because it had gotten so long, including a significant rewrite adding some dialog to flesh our my characters Morgan, Jen and Sarah!
1/19 – Posted rewritten 18th chapter, with more of a rewrite adding some dialog to try and tie up Steve story better!
1/17 – Posted rewritten 17th chapter, with a minor rewrite!
1/13 – Posted rewritten 16th chapter, with very little I felt I could rewrite this time!
1/12 – Posted rewritten 15th chapter, with lesser rewrite!
1/4 – Posted rewritten 14th chapter, with lesser rewrite!
12/26 – Posted rewritten 13th chapter, with big rewrite of a major scene!
12/15 – Posted rewritten 12th chapter, a long piece!
12/8 – Posted rewritten 11th chapter, trying to capture a very different feel of things in Spain!
11/22 – Posted rewritten 10th chapter, I really liked how I was able to amp up characters and get a good flow!
11/9 – Posted rewritten 9th chapter
10/20 – Posted rewritten 8th chapter
10/19 – Posted rewritten 7th chapter
10/9 – Posted rewritten 6th chapter
9/29 – Posted rewritten 5th chapter
9/22 – Posted rewritten 4th chapter
9/8 – Posted rewritten 3rd chapter. Feeling good about rewrite enriching depth of story.
9/2 – Posted rewritten 2nd chapter with significant rewrite involving adding some key conversations
8/18 – Posted a now rewritten, expanded and divided 1st chapter of my memoir, now titled “Two Inch Heels”, of backpacking thru Europe in 1973 at age 18.
“Teachers should run their schools, define what constitutes a “good teacher” and a “good school”, govern and police their own profession including controlling the training and certification of new members of their profession.”
How I dearly wish the political will existed to accomplish this! Being a public employee is often offered as a reason why we have to endure top-down supervision and mandates since, after all, we’re employed by the taxpayers! They pay our salaries, therefore we should do/act/produce according to their demands!
Unfortunately for that argument, though, it all falls down when we consider police officers, firefighters, and other types of public employees. Can you imagine politicians trying to create a department or board (either appointed or elected) made up mostly of people without firefighting experience, whose sole purpose it was to tell firefighters how to do their jobs? Can you imagine getting more and tougher fires (students) but cutting salaries, and then telling firefighters that you expect better firefighting outcomes (test scores) because, as we all know, it’s almost exclusively the firefighter’s (teacher’s) fault if the fire (student) doesn’t respond as desired and expected?
I can’t imagine a Department of Firefight-ation doing this to firefighters, because they are PROFESSIONALS who know better than anyone else how best to fight fires! I think there are definitely some gender-stereotype issues at play here but, honestly, I really don’t understand what exactly politicians are thinking when they insist they know better than teachers when it comes to assessing understanding, designing curricula, setting desired outcomes, and all of the other things now dominated by political hands. The hubris is unbelievable.
So the question then becomes, what do you suggest? You say teachers should “assert their authority”, but you don’t define what you mean. We’re in an awkward spot, because the very people against whom we would theoritically assert are the same ones often in a position to hire, fire, evaluate, and/or pay us! What do you think?
Amy… good points and questions.
I like your analogy with firefighters, since unlike doctors, they are on the public payroll as teachers are.
As to the path forward, some thoughts…
1. One thread is to keeping opposing educational standardization and keep the drum beat up against high-stakes standardized testing, standardized curriculum, federal involvement in education (like no reauthorization of NCLB and maybe eliminating the Ed Dept altogether).
2. Another is to encourage teachers, particularly when their schools fall into fiscal or other crisis (which seems to happen a lot these days) is to re-frame their schools as charters run by the teacher without a principal functioning as a “boss”, like was done in Detroit.
3. Teachers unions can re-frame themselves more as professional organizations than labor unions (in a labor vs management context) and push to play more of a role in everything that has to do with teachers, training, hiring, quality of practice, pedagogy and fighting for more professional latitude on how they teach. If teachers did not now have unions this might be impossible, but since they do, they can re-frame their 19th century-style associations into something more “professional” for the 21st century.
That’s just a start… thanks for asking… and I’d be interested in your further thoughts.
All three of your suggestions for “what to do” are good ones.
The first is an immediate imperative. In Louisiana, as in other locales, teachers have reached the point of “weighing” their fear of reprisal with the reality that within the next year, their traditional public schools along with their jobs are on the chopping block. There is no longer a “choice” of whether to make that leap of faith and speak out against the reform agenda of privatization.
The second suggestion is a provocative one that, if taken seriously, could actually open the way for educators to “cash in” on the corporate mantra of charters as the answer to transforming public education. There are indeed examples of teacher-led schools both charter and non-charter. Those examples could be cloned and devoted educators could be found to take on the responsibility. The greatest challenge there is “competition” they would find in the face of the almighty profit motive of the charter movement and its corporate backers. It would also entail entering the Political arena and the millions of dollars it would cost to influence legislation already crafted or in the works that favor private enterprise and the profit motive over quality education.
The third suggestion seems obvious to me, but my conversations with unions don’t encourage me to think that they would be willing to “re-frame” themselves. It’s a different mindset and, again, legislation is in the works that will make it all but impossible for unions to be a viable option for teachers. I believe the current movement toward teacher organized and led associations like Save Our Schools March may provide a voice and the profesionalism that should be afforded to teachers.
Thanks for your commentary.
I appreciate your second to my ideas in this area. A couple of thoughts on yours…
I would suggest that you do not tar all charter schools with the brush of competition or profit. From the research I have done, it is approximately fifteen percent of charter schools that are either for-profit or are a non-profit managed by a for-profit enterprise. The rest have been set up by an array of true non-profits or community organizations in an attempt to proactively address gaps in the public education system, for example the Green Dot charters in Los Angeles. Teachers can launch a charter school that they run (like the one in Detroit) without getting into the whole profit/competition thing.
Also, though teacher unions are being diminished by the efforts of red state governors & legislatures, they still represent existing infrastructure that can be reframed as more of a professional organization.
Thanks again for your comment!
Thank you for this thoughtful critique.
Myron Lieberman said that many of his ideas on professional empowerment came from his doctor/wife. He was and still is mortified that the AFT hijacked the caterpillar to butterfly evolution of the NEA, making it a Frankenstein affair.
I welcome your thoughts on some of my blog, which ponders the reality today that our teachers have been trained as an army of thuggish industrial political activists. The “professional” association that should have been the NEA is unrepresented in our country politically.
Anthony… I read your most recent blog piece on this topic and made this comment…
Anthony… I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the development of industrial style teacher unions in the 1960s. I don’t know enough about that history.
Thank you also for laying out Lieberman’s critique of the U.S. public education and particularly the teacher unions… but from my understanding of the situation I don’t things as he does.
What I see is that the public education system has become a huge bureaucratic “command and control” entity run at the state level and increasingly being centralized through standardization to federal control. But the human development they are attempting to control rather than facilitate is hindered, rather than enhance by their efforts. This standardization is replacing real learning with test preparation.
IMO teacher unions have been focused in the industrial paradigm because teachers, as a majority female group, have been viewed by male-dominated society as managed laborers rather than true professionals. I think its time that they redefine the work of teaching as a true profession.
IMO, the education process needs to be MORE, not less anarchic. Schools should be run informally by professional teachers and empowered students who are expected to be the directors of their own educations, with teachers as their high-powered facilitators as needed.
Your old-fashioned photo explains a lot. Back in the era when the picture was taken, town councils hired teachers, very often women. The difference between teachers and doctors or firefighters is that most doctors or firefighter were men, and it is still mostly true. One big reason education reforms fail is that society does not consider those tasked with the implementation as professionals (http://schoolcrossing.blogspot.com/2009/10/5-reasons-why-education-reforms-fail.html).
Scigoya.. So sounds like you are seeing this the same way I do. Its an issue associated with a male-centric society.
I am currently taking courses in “Teacher Leadership”. I went back to school mainly to increase my salary, but now I am seeing things in a new light. Our latest assignment was to research blogs and comment on one that we feel strongly about. As I was researching, I came across the study about teachers being overpaid. I came to “Lefty Parent” and read your thoughts. I agree with your analogy about doctors playing a role in their institutions. I am learning so much about the importance of teacher leadership and feel that the courses I am taking are aligned with your blog. I must admit though it is hard not to feel like a “laborer” especially when the rest of society views us that way. I wish more teachers would see the importance in this topic, and more policy makers would truly value our contributions to society. Thank you for your blog
Mary… Thank you first of all for being there to help our young people with their development! I wish you and your fellow teachers got more acknowledgement of your skills and wisdom!
And glad to hear you resonate with this idea of teachers taking more control of their profession, it just seems so obvious to me as a parent and a long time activist, but I have never been a professional teacher myself.
So I would be curious what they are teaching you in these teacher leadership classes. Is different school governance model and more learner-driven pedagogical models even part of your Ed Masters curriculum? Wish I could be a “fly on the wall” in some of your classes!