Shortly after the results were announced on some SecondLife island, a writer with The Guardian, Steve O’Hear, e-mailed all the winners (presumably) with the questions:
- Why did you start blogging?
- What does the award mean to you?
My answers, as well as the reasons why I’ve carpet-bombed this blog with “for your consideration” ads, have very little to do with egotism or self-validation. Since it’s as good a statement of purpose as anything I’ve written, here is my response:
I blog to make the long road shorter for new teachers. My four years teaching have been marked by a lot of failure and, only recently, some success. By writing about successful classroom management, lesson design, and general practice I hope others will find success sooner. Perhaps I’m trying to redeem my early failures in the process.
But these pieces I write are rather useless if no one reads them. Some find the award process and its politicking and lobbying irritating but for me it all serves one end – I can help more people if more people read. I care little for egotism and self-validation. I care about gathering a readership and building a richer conversation.
Christian LongDecember 10, 2007 - 3:31 pm -
Not surprised by the news at all! Congratulations on all fronts.
SarahDecember 10, 2007 - 3:51 pm -
Congrats. I’ll keep talking up your blog to my new teacher friends. And my not-teacher friends. For what it’s worth, you’re making my conversations richer.
JackieDecember 10, 2007 - 4:24 pm -
Congrats and my thanks for making my road a bit shorter. I know you’ve had a profound effect on my views of design – for which I thank-you. I’m just beginning on this path, but I know I’m getting there. Last week I used a worksheet made by another teacher. One of the cherubs said, “You didn’t make this, did you?”. I asked how he knew. He replied, “It doesn’t look right.” I sent you silent thanks at that moment!
Tanya MillsDecember 10, 2007 - 6:40 pm -
Congrats, and thanks, Dan, for all the help and insight. I look forward to reading your blog, and I can’t even begin to count all the good ideas you’ve inspired! My precalculus classes love working for mastery, and I’m brainstorming now how I can do mastery with my non-AP calculus class next year. Any ideas?
Oh, and another question. I know you use keynote for presenting, but how do you work out problems for the students? On a whiteboard, a tablet? Maybe you don’t work out problems for students?
Liza Lee MillerDecember 10, 2007 - 8:47 pm -
Congrats, Dan! Well earned!
danDecember 10, 2007 - 10:47 pm -
Jackie, I’m pumping my fists for you, doing this little shadowboxing thing. Way to go.
Tanya, I project onto a whitebard so I can scribble all over the images. My first year here my portable classroom didn’t have a pulldown screen. I pushed to have one installed only until I taught a lesson without one. Couldn’t go back.
Steven NishidaDecember 11, 2007 - 8:04 am -
Big ups from Nara, Japan.
Keep on keepin’ us thinkin’.
Jim GatesDecember 11, 2007 - 1:49 pm -
Interesting. I didn’t get that email. :-)
Guess he went by what he felt were the most interesting categories.
Congratulations on your award.
joseDecember 11, 2007 - 6:34 pm -
Not that you haven’t heard that about a million times, but congrats, and well done. I know you can’t hear it enough. You really work hard on this blog, but you make it look so easy, and that’s the way to keep it.
Liz DitzDecember 12, 2007 - 7:09 pm -
I voted for you the Chicago way–early and often.