What have we learned?

It has been my custom to post the essay portion of Teacher’s Lounge here at Docudharma an hour or so after posting Teacher’s Lounge at Daily Kos.  That’s about when the conversation slows down a bit.

I’m modifying this one a bit because it really is specifically about Daily Kos in many ways.  Or maybe it’s not.

I’ll let you decide…

Once upon a time I had an idea.  Actually, I have lots of ideas, but this was one specific idea.

I can’t really even claim that it was my idea.  It is rather the case that I modeled it upon a real-life feature we have here at Bloomfield.  We have what we call TLC lunches (TLC = Teaching and Learning Center).  Faculty and staff get together for lunch (without administrators), pick a topic and discuss it…for however many weeks it may take to do so.

There are some rules to them.  You can see them down below, modified for online.

Maybe an analog would work at DKos?  Maybe someone should try.  If not me, who?  If not now, when?  But I would include students and administrators and parents and whoever wanted to come.  I did what I thought I had time for.  I’ve never thought it was sufficient.  As it says in the nether regions of TL, I would be thrilled if someone stepped forward, someone with more time and energy to make an improved version.  The first version, after an abortive effort the previous week, with a bad title and on a Sunday, is here, posted October 29, 2005.  It had a short piece about Katrina victims and an introduction to the concept of a Teacher’s Lounge (and yes, I know people think it’s a weird apostrophe, but I’m trying to avoid copyright problems here 🙂 ).

There hasn’t been a weekend missed since then.  It did migrate from 9am to noon, since it is my nature to wake up on Saturday morning with nothing written, without even a topic.  I usually have the links prepared, however.  I’m not a total idiot.

I have gained a lot from the experience.  It has been an exercise in patience.  TL has been built very slowly.  It made jotter‘s list for the first time in February, 2006.  It made the Rec List for the first time on December 9 of that same year.  Later in that month I began the search for someone who would take over the Teaching diary links.  plf515 stepped forward and What have you got to learn (and teach)? was born.

A year ago I wrote about Politics.  In rereading that essay, I discover that not much has changed.  It was right before the 2006 election.  The last lines of that essay are:

A fork in the road lies ahead.  The choice is between human progress or mental Luddism for the generations to come.  Think of the children and do what needs to be done.

You have taught me a lot, my friends.  I actually read those diaries I link to (or at least skim them).  There are many exquisite pieces that have been written.  Maybe someday someone can go back and assemble a Best of….  That probably won’t be me.

You’ve taught me about expectations as well.  Five times you have collectively decided what I produced deserved to be on the Rec List.  All of them were unexpected.  The one’s I thought were more deserving invariably didn’t make it.  It makes one humble.

I have also learned about the nature of community and how it changes over time but can still be maintained.  Rarely have we had disruptive influences here.  I thank you for that.

It would please me today if you could share with me whatever you have learned from the existence of Teacher’s Lounge.  And have some virtual cupcakes and beverage of your choice.

It’s time for some celebration sometimes.

9 comments

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    • Robyn on October 27, 2007 at 7:30 pm
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    …much to my dismay.  And I probably spend too much time trying to find that new reader or two.  But growing a readership has also been worth it, in the long run.

    At least, I think I am supposed to say that.

    Robyn

    • RiaD on October 27, 2007 at 7:44 pm

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    Excellent job!
    (even if sometimes it feels like cat herding)

    • Temmoku on October 27, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    former school last week and learned that since they chose not to replace the retired Reading Specialist, they’ve bought a new computerized reading program called “Learning Keys” or something. They are taking 30 class periods away from the American History classes so that the kids can get time in on the computers to improve their reading levels. The lab aides will supervise the students so the American History teachers can work in the Dean’s Office handling discipline problems…
    I guess I just wasn’t efficient enough. With the cost of the computers and the program and the aides, are they really saving any money?  Not to mention the gains the kids won’t make. Reading is not like that… Well. Live and learn.

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