I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

You know, I let my first birthday pass by without comment.

Many thanks to those of you who've dropped by over the past year. I really do appreciate it when you take the time to leave a comment, good or ill. Special thanks to jcg, Teacher Mom, czarejs, roofjake, commutingteacher, lisa, Joe LoRe, thinker, and I know I've forgotten others and I'm sorry and just post here and I'll add you.

Oh, and my favorite commenter, who also happens to be my favorite songwriter: anonymous.

The blog is fueled by the intellectual gasoline of several inspirations; in no particular order:
If you haven't checked their blogs, books, etc., you're really denying yourself the best of what's out there.

I also highly recommend these friends and paragons:
I want to give a special thanks to the Facebooker/Tweeter stopthefreezeNJ. Every time stfNJ reposts something of mine, my site counter goes crazy. He/she/they have become the hub of NJ education netroots activism, and I'm very glad to be a part of that.

And additional thanks to all retweeters - I really appreciate it.

I wish I was a little more consistent here, but I am a working teacher. This is an outlet for my frustration and a way to keep Mrs. Jazzman from going crazy ("Why are you telling me this? Go put it on your blog!"). I hope I'm contributing to the dialog and moving the conversation a little, but I have no delusions; this isn't a big platform. And my first responsibility, aside from my family, is to the children I am privileged to teach.

But I, and every other teacher in this state, will not be able to serve them unless this juggernaut of corporate reform is stopped. We all need to supplement what we do on the net with real political action, and voting is not enough. This is going to be a crucial year; we need to be supporting politicians who share our values, challenging the media whenever needed, and finding creative ways to get our message out.

Every one of us, from Pre-K to PhD, should be proud of what we do. We should not let self-satisfied politicians, corporate hacks, lazy media personalities, and plutocrats diminish our pride in our chosen profession. We should not let them denigrate our rights to collective bargaining and participation in the political process. We should not let them characterize us as greedy simply because we demand fair compensation for our work.

I am proud to be a teacher. And I dare anyone to try to take that pride away.

I dare you.

No, governor, you don't get a piece...


Leonie Haimson said...

I'm honored to be cited and to be called "Leonine"! Happy birthday!

Duke said...

You always catch my typos! Thanks!

StandingCorrected said...

Hello and Happy Birthday Duke! What a small world it is, I already follow you on twitter as mostlyataloss, but today I found you on my list of bloggers to contact for the www.saveourschoolsmarch.org. We wanted to contact bloggers who are interested in the cause of TRUE school reform about our April Blog campaign "We Won't Be Fooled Again!" with the hashtag #wontbefooled. If you could participate with a blogpost about our upcoming march and the cause of Save Our Schools using our April theme, that would be great! Please send your post to us at saveourschoolsmarch.gmail.com so that we can include it on our website! Thanks SO much! In Solidarity! Cindi Pastore cindipastore@gmail.com

Lisa said...

I too feel very honored to be cited here :). Thank YOU for giving us a place to learn and vent our shared frustrations in an intelligent and informative blog. It helps me to remember to continue to feel pride in a zeitgeist that, sadly, has me shrinking from letting people know I'm a teacher (and believing I need to post anonymously).

Hope you have a wonderful birthday!! And many more!

calugg said...


Thanks for the most kind shout out. And MANY thanks for all of your good work. With more and more people calling "bs" on the "reformy" agenda, I'm increasingly optimistic this stuff will eventually be flushed out of political discourse.

Lisa said...

Calugg is right. The sun is beginning to shine on the corporate takeover of our education system--and our states. The sun rose over Wisconsin, is shining on Ohio, is high over Florida, and is shedding light on Michigan, where the Republicans are attempting to replace municipal governments and school boards with unelected, paid corporate "consultants" in the name of "fiscal emergency." The political discourse is beginning to be flushed with light, illuminating their--now obvious--plans for oligarchic corporatocracy in the name of "reform" and "fiscal responsibility." It's bigger than just education. And it's scary.

Our schools aren't broken and our states are not broke. Let the sun shine in! Cry RECALL, and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth...

DeclineRedux said...


Happy Birthday! The field needs more insiders to speak out as this is a time when we need to stick up for our profession. In my opinion, the field is facing a critical point where educators have to mobilize and voice their perspectives. Thank you for voicing yours.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday tooo uuuuu!
I'm very happy that I found your site. Teachers are coming together nationally in solidarity against the privatizers of the education industrial complex. Your razor sharp analysis and entertaining writing is affirmation to me that we don't have to accept their tripe.
Joan from TN (aka jcg)

CommutingTeacher said...

Happy Birthday! You make my RSS feed sing. :) Thank you!

Duke said...

Thanks to you all! I really appreciate the support.

njunions said...

Hi, Yesterday a few of us from the FMBA went to Trenton for a roundtable discussion. Seated at the front table was Paul Krugman. He was great! He mentioned how the Gov. is spying on his emails. There should be somthing done about that. Its un-American to say the least.