The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

A Sip of Whine

on September 26, 2015

I started this blog a little more than a month ago because I wanted people to know about the good things going on in our public schools and the positive changes possible in the future.  For at least three years, I have been reading–and contributing essays and comments to — Diane Ravitch’s and Valerie Strauss’ blogs . But so many of their posts these days are reporting bad news that I was getting depressed, and I thought that maybe others were. too.  So, I decided that a new blog was needed to report on the other side of the coin, even though it rarely falls that way these days.

Since I started blogging, I have been pleased with the numbers of readers some days and dismayed on other days when those numbers go down to only two or three.  It looks like the day of the week influences readers more than the title of a post, so I understand why the weekend numbers are higher.

Nevertheless, I had hoped for larger numbers by this time.  Maybe the field of bloggers is already too big; maybe the topics I’ve chosen are not that compelling, or maybe not enough people who feel the way I do about education are aware of this blog.

What this whine boils down to is my humble plea for your help.  If you loyal readers have friends or colleagues who might be interested in “The Treasure Hunter,” please tell them about it and suggest they give it a try. And, as I’ve said more than once before, I’d love it if some readers would contribute pieces about the good things going on in the schools they are familiar with.  Your assistance would would cheer me up immensely and, maybe, help me to write better and more often.

4 responses to “A Sip of Whine

  1. i will do what I can to spread the word about your positive changes blog.


  2. Frankey Jones says:

    I am looking. It’s just hard. The educators I know are struggling with things beyond their control. I’ll keep my ear to the ground. Try to keep the faith for the rest of us. We need more yatvinist!


  3. sallythomas4 says:

    will keep trying. please please please don’t stop. I haven’t had time yet to do my part due to needing to sell my mtn cabin immediately….big disruption to my life. But it’ll be over. This is just too important and can’t disappear. gives me hope every few days. Need that!


  4. Nancy Belkov says:

    This response is not about a massive change in program in a school or district, but about a neat thing a school is trying.

    After reading “a sip of whine” I read a post on mathmindsblog, Lunchtime Cafeteria Chat. Some teachers made a move that I think can help with community in a school. Concerned about students who seem disengaged with others during lunch time, they started a presentation of conversation starters. The mathmindsblog says “putting up some type of slide presentation on the projector screen on the stage during lunch, I thought it was a genius idea! …like the previews in a movie theater that everyone watches before the feature presentation. Like most ideas with me, we jumped right in. We came up with prompts for students to use as a piece of their conversations and spark interesting conversations around the cafeteria. We put 15 ideas together in a looping ppt, with a 30 second transition between slides.” The slides made students wonder about pictures, problems, and questions including how they read, to sports situations, math relationships. One slide showed a picture of a brain and asked for a caption. Another said “True or False; A good reader is a fast reader.”

    The teachers comment that the slides sparked lots of conversation throughout the cafeteria. I can see lots of possibilities here….ones that would support students communication with each other and a good school community.


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