Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rumors Of My Demise...

…while admittedly self-generated, may prove to be largely exaggerated. Or at least premature.

In a few weeks I start work with the stellar folks at The Education Trust – West, an organization doing heavy lifting on ed reform, and one I’ve admired for some time. None of the jobbiness of this particular job have begun, but it's been a love-fest thus far, I gotta tell ya. I have in my possession this great two-page job description overflowing with bulleted tasks and responsibilities. Luckily, none of the bullet points look like this:

■ Sell-out real hard

Instead, I’ll get to do a wide array of work in both practice and policy realms, straddling that great divide, and harnessing the experiences of the last six years in countless new ways. As part of all that, we’ve been discussing a continuation of blogging. While not necessarily focused on life in and around room D2, this work would certainly touch on and broaden many of the issues and themes that have consumed bandwidth in this space. This blog, or a similar version located elsewhere, will continue to exist. Crank the stereo, the party’s still swinging.

I’m excited. There is much left to be determined of course – not least of which is the issue of just where exactly on the Internet these writings will be found – but they will live somewhere and hopefully will continue to be worth your time and energy.

So… stay tuned.


Anonymous Christian Long said...

Good folks @ Ed Trust. Well done joining ranks with them. And glad that it gives you cover and daylight at once. Enjoy the transition!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so happy to see THIS photo;
without the "product placement"

9:53 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

I mean, I was just going for contrast. Contrast is high art, I've heard.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Parentalcation said...

Are they going to let you use four letter words in your posts? Or do you have to be all professional and stuff?

Congratulations! Ed Trust West is good peoples.

10:32 PM  
Blogger leyla said...

please tell me you don't have to drive a lot anymore...


10:41 PM  
Anonymous Jeri said...

I'm so happy, especially to see this picture. I grinned right back at you and want to bake you a pie right away. Berry? Lemon meringue? Peach?

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there ANOTHER bake sale??

10:44 AM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Pie? Bake sales? What's happening to my blog? Apple and straw-rhubarb for the record, but seriously, what are we talking about here?

@Leyla: Across that damn bridge to Lake Merrit. Or BART if I buy a bike and work out some logistics cuz there's no BART near the Full House house, where I reside.

@Rory: Yeah, an incomplete list of things we won't be seeing much of probably includes:

1) F-bombs (of which there have been relatively few in 3 years, as your thoughtful search revealed)
2) Images of yours truly being over-served after a celebratory event dubbed Mantastic Weekend
3) Song lyrics from my favorite bands
4) Half-heartedly coy attempts at anonymity

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Congrats on the job! As a WestEd "control" group this year all I have heard is negative other than the occasional positive references to them in your blog so I will follow along with interest to see "the other side". :)
I do hope you will leave this blog up for us still in the classroom folks to refer back to for ideas etc?

7:14 PM  
Blogger Parentalcation said...

Ok, I can understand dropping the pics, four letter words, and anonymity, but for god sakes... keep the lyrics.

8:44 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Hi Kris,

Thanks for the thoughts. I think though, you may be conflating WestEd with Ed Trust -- West. They're two different organizations. I've had good experiences presenting for WestEd, as well. They put together some strong work on the whole escape from PI thing.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Thanks for clarifying! Still new to this whole PI/ELD world!

10:10 PM  
Blogger cosine said...

TMAO, I only caught your blog at the tail end of your time as a teacher, but it has been a great read. Just finished year three as a TFAer, and I have been able to relate fully to your story. Keep it up, I will keep checking in. Curious to see what's next!

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to congratulate you, TMAO.

You're a conscientious, reflective teacher who by your own account has dropped his sore, exhausted glutes to raise student scores. You're full of conviction. You slog through the unglamorous to plant the needed skills in your students. If God were the education system, you'd be Job.

But you're leaving. Probably you're going to write about and discuss how that teachers aren't teaching well. You're going to have the luxury (and it is a luxury, if you're a teacher) of office think time, of more reflection and unharried collaboration with colleagues. Well and good.

But you're not *in* it anymore. I respect your reasons for leaving, yet I suspect your motives. Of all the ways you might think of to write about, plan for, or promote public education in your next years at The Education Trust - West, think damned hard about how to keep teachers like yourself from leaving the field. Because you did.

Middle School Mom

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


" Probably you're going to write about and discuss how teachers aren't teaching well."

The "that" in my previous post should have been deleted.

Middle School Mom

10:21 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...


Big nods all around: Hear ya.

Guess what I'm curious about is what motives of mine you suspect. What do you think those are?

12:19 AM  
Blogger Parentalcation said...

I hope Ed Trust West made a certain minimum number of posts a condition of the job, because it sort of sucks you aren't writing so much anymore.

When is start day anyway?

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! ...and congrats.

--SuzieP ;-)

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


On second thought, I can't possibly know from a few blog posts what your motives are for leaving teaching and getting a job with the Education Trust-West.

My fear, though, is that you'll become one of those think-tank types who issues disdainful, scathing edicts in relation to teachers. And teaching. I mean, you did so when you taught. But that's what made me listen. Dude, you had street cred.

Now that the comforts of chrome and concrete offices are in your future, along with computers, a coffee cup, and a seat to lean far back in, it'll be different. The immediacy of classroom dynamics will be lost.

In sum: Please don't ever lose sight of the fact that good teaching is a really hard job.

Best wishes,

Middle School Mom

8:52 PM  
Blogger KB said...

Started Monday, Rory. Good times.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Chet Swearingen said...

good luck with the work.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Michael Doyle said...

I just found your blog, obviously a bit too late, but enjoy the words anyway, especially 51 Minutes. Any of my thoughts about your leaving teaching are about as valuable as the cussing of a drunk stumbling into a bar just after last call, and I'm not sure why it matters to me as much as it does.

I used to work in medicine--I played pediatrician on a mobile clinic visiting various inner-city projects and shelters, blessed by the support of the Children's Health Fund. I left 3 years ago to teach.

Part of me thought I could go into medical administration to (paraphrasing you) harness the experiences of the years in countless new ways to improve other dawgs still practicing in the shadows of shelters and project housing. I had seen try, and each time I got the sense that those leaving to improve the life of those in the trenches lost their dawggedness.

I'm not worried about former teachers "selling out real hard"--if you were going to sell out, you'd have never gone into the field anyway.

I just hope you keep dawging. I'm not sure that's possible.

Prove me wrong.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous G Chung said...

Dear you are looking nice.
Online High School

3:04 AM  
Anonymous lauren maftel said...

Amazing congrats and keep it up.

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Dapper style said...

congrats bro. Keep the good work up..

11:32 PM  

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