What happened to this forum?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Mathismyjam, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Mathismyjam

    Mathismyjam Guest

    Nov 25, 2016

    Hey all!

    I was a member here just a few years ago and it seemed like this place had a lot of members and was super popular. I remember there being a lot of lively debates and opinionated members. I check back occasionally and it seems... really dead here. Which is a shame because I always enjoyed this place.

    Did something happen?
     
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  3. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

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    Iwas just wondering the same
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I miss a lot of the posters who were here when I started teaching. Sometimes they come back, but sometimes they quit teaching or decide they don't need this group as much as they once did.
     
  5. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

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    I use to lurk on these threads every so often
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I still read every day, but I post a lot less than I used to. Partly it's because I don't like posting from my phone because I'm a super slow texter. Also, there have been some newish members (or people pretending to be new) who are honestly and truly insufferable to me and I just want to ignore their threads and every thread they post in. Finally, sometimes I just get busy.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I find the overall atmosphere has changed considerably over the past few years. There tends to be less collaborative discussion than there once was. I used to leave this forum feeling energized about discussions with passionate educators; that feeling is rare now.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There is another current thread asking where have all the members gone. I think it's a multifaceted question. We are all inundated and busier than ever with new mandates, standards, evaluation protocols. We also lost some members who grew weary of ending up in arguments and criticism. The kinds of conversations have also changed- while these forums can bE a great resource and venting space, one can sometimes feel a bit like :banghead:. I'm also thinking there are SO many other social media resources: TPT, blogs, Pinterest that fill some of the needs that teachers may have. I do miss some of those members who no longer post, the fun threads (fish painting anyone?) and the educational discourse.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I still think that, as I posted on that other thread, there is just far less room for creativity and choice for teachers, particularly for new ones who are just trying to get a handle on all the obligations and requirements. Hence, there is less discussion of the variety of ways to approach areas of study. A lot of the fun has been taken out of the field of education and I think it shows on the forums. That said, no boards are going to remain the same year in and year out. AtoZ rides on the wave of its members. It is only as good as you all make it. So, post more of what you want to see and chances are that others will be interessted in the same.
     
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  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I was just going through some old threads...funny thing, we had this same conversation back in 2012. People wondering where the old posters are. Same conclusions as the present thread...people not feeling appreciated or "part of the clique", getting busy with life, leaving teaching etc.

    Just like the trends in education, the pendulum swings out, then back.
     
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  11. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sometimes LIFE happens... life outside of teaching.
     
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  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Maybe mods can answer...isteaching time out area... restricted to so many posts? It used to be when it first started.
     
  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    @Upsadaisy @Amanda @TeacherGroupie @ChristyF Do you know? I know the old format was that way but IDK about the newer one.
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    What do you mean, Diznee? That you can't post there without a certain number? I don't think so.
     
  15. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    Nov 26, 2016

    I'm pretty sure I ran across one of these threads just a couple months ago.
     
  16. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Nov 26, 2016

    What happened to this forum is simply evolution of the medium. Eight years ago or so (when I think I first joined), twitter was just starting out, Facebook was newish, RSS feeds and blogs were en vogue, etc. It seems like a blink of the eye, but eight years in this format has just seen an evolution in terms of available information. Back in those days, forums were a place to go for conversation and debate. These days, these things happen as much in Facebook, twitter, etc. It has probably taken a lot of the thunder away. People no longer need to come onto a forum to ask questions or learn new information.

    The other thing (IMO), is that this forum is too politically correct. The fact that they actively monitor the threads, I guess is a positive... you don't want it to be a troll fest. At the same time though, people don't really express opinions that inspire debate because everyone is so worried about sounding right. I understand it fully in your own school environment. You don't want to be ruffling feathers or stirring up trouble. But an online forum provides a bit of a veil in terms of really being able to express things you might not in-person. This is not to say that I would like it to be banter like you might find in a hip-hop forum or MMA forum. However, there should be some sort of edge, in getting people excited or inspired to post.
     
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  17. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    That had occurred to me as well, but at the same time, these conversations on social media are harder to break into if you don't already know a few people who are involved. Forums like this are a lot easier for someone new to work their way into.
     
  18. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I love to pop on when I have time, but that is rare these days.
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I'm very confused about a few things. Lately we had some posters who really seemed like trolls. Not the kind that will just say stupid, or nasty things, or try to stir the pot to post controversial posts, but these people posted some really thought out, elaborate stories that all seemed true but when they unraveled, all the discrepancies started to show.
    But now it's getting out of hand, I see people's posts completely disappearing, even those that really didn't say anything bad. From my own thread, a helpful post was deleted, then when I asked, another poster responded with a possible explanation (nothing rude or anything), then the original responder replied, then a moderator, and now all that is gone. Why? Nothing was bad in those posts.

    There's another poster, who is most definitely not a troll, always offers great advice, plenty of it and is obviously a knowledgeable teacher. I see a lot of his/her posts blanked out, not sure by whom and not sure why.
    These things are just weird, and happen a lot all of a sudden.

    I think some people don't even want to participate anymore, or they might respond impatiently, even accuse them of being trolls, if the original post sounds a but strange (although life can be strange).
    I think all this negativity just gets bigger and bigger.
     
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  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm no busier really these days, but I was thinking the same thing too a few months ago. I used to start threads/post here more often in the past, but it's seemed to have lost it's luster to me in the last year or so. I'm more on other boards I've always belonged to. I've only really been in this Time Out section mainly. We've all also seemed to go through all the topics we could: What's everyone doing for __ holidays breaks, etc. I've been trying to keep some threads alive because I still like reading people's posts on them. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm sorry if your search for answers in your classroom got caught in the crossfire. To answer your question, there was a poster who had created multiple identities on the forum, which is a major no-no. The only person who can blank out posts and ban members is Amanda, the site owner.
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Too funny. Yeah, I think we give up some freedom in the pursuit of civility. Sort of like society.
     
  23. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    The site owner has resources at her disposal that allow her to see when 'multiple' posters originate posts from the same IP address. The posts may sound legitimate to many of us, but aren't in accord with the site rules.

    Also, mods interpret the self-promotion rule to the letter. This happens when new members want to interest teachers in their concepts or products. Even when the subject is valid and might be of value, new posters may not 'advertise' without an agreement with the site. They may also have their threads deleted if they try and circumvent the rule against including links before they have earned the privelege - by spelling out link words or something.
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.
  24. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    We can see a lot more info on the backend. For instance, someone claiming to be from Oklahoma is actually from Michigan and impersonating both male and female teachers. Offering "great" advice, while at the same time stirring the pot, helps them fly under the radar. The fact is he or she is playing us - the definition of a troll.
     
  25. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Teacher Time Out is open for anyone to post.

    I think this format isn't as popular as it once was as new forms of social media have emerged. But, with that said, it's your forum... make it what you want it to be.

    I have had a lot of crazy life things going on so I admit I haven't been as on top of things as I once was and when we had trolls, I could "nip it in the bud" without much disruption.

    I usually don't publicly call people out, but just so you know, the same person was posting under all of these accounts: Ed4Life, Mr.Mike, MsIrene, Pen4Pencil and deiso (new one, banned immediately) You just never really know about people. Some enjoy the game of creating an identity and stirring up drama.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
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  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    As to posts that disappear entirely, that's a moderator's doing: the post may have been deleted, or it may have been "unapproved" pending a decision. Sometimes we have to delete a post that is unobjectionable in and of themselves, when the post quotes another post that earned its deletion more straightforwardly. (And this is why we moderators beg and plead for members to report questionable content rather than responding to it.)

    Moderators CAN edit posts, but we tend not to. If a post has been edited down just to a punctuation mark, that's much more likely to be the doing of the member who originally posted it.
     
  27. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    As far as editing goes, I was referring to the times when it may be necessary to delete an offensive quoted passage while leaving the responder's post intact. Occasionally, I correct a title spelling error, also.
     
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  28. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    May be I was wrong but it seemed like years ago tine or chit chat you had to have a certain number of posts before you could join that conversation.
     
  29. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    No, the homeschool forum (Homeschoolspot.com) had a semi-private area like that because they were concerned about stuff showing up on Google, and there was a post requirement to get into it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
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  30. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    The fact that those are all the same person explains a LOT. They definitely enjoy drama. Thank you, Amanda, for dealing with that person, whoever he or she actually is.
     
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  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Honestly I also seem to remember a requirement like that too. Maybe we are both mistaken, or maybe we both remember some sort of alternate reality like the Berenstain/Berenstein Bears thing.
     
  32. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Lol.... at least I don't feel alone now. Maybe we are both getting old... Lol!!!!
     
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  33. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I know that... but I swore it was here too...when you first put chit chat area in.
     
  34. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Yeah we have to moderate posts when people get their panties in a wad over replies to their comments. Sometimes it is better to just unapprove the posts or close the threads. They send us PM's like they are running to their mamas because someone is picking on them.

    We tried to stay away from political posts and such that will cause unneeded arguments.
     
  35. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    I have a great ability to forget a lot of things over the past 15 years so I may be mistaken too. lol. But I don't think I changed anything.
     
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  36. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    With chitchat, I thought you had to be a registered poster to see the posts. Guests couldn't see that particular sub forum....back in the day. :) But I've been wrong before!

    There was something special about it anyway.
     
  37. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I think this place is great because you can talk freely without being disrespectful and vent out problems that are going on. I also think it's neat because we don't know what schools we work out at so we don't have to be worried about being gossiped if we go through down times or a certain class is just getting on our nerves and we can say what we think as long as it's professional. It's good to be able to have a forum to talk about things you wouldn't say around your principal or other colleagues. Some people need advice. I think people can be honest with each other as long as they don't reprimand rudely or meanly. I think these days many people don't know (especially my students) how to use online/email/messaging words properly. When people write, they can appear mad, quite blunt, or rude when they really aren't.
     
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  38. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Fish Painting! HA! Thanks for the funny memory. I do miss those threads.
     
  39. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    I love A to Z forum because there is always good advice given by the members. I've been reading the forum since 2014 or 2015, but finally decided to create an account in August and now that I've been posting (since October) I can't stop! I've been on many forums, and the moderators here are the best at their jobs keeping the threads in tact and supporting inspiring teachers with their questions (especially Teacher Groupie). Everyone here is so friendly and welcoming, too. Thanks to all the members and moderators for all the great advice, it's really helped all the newer teachers with their questions and dilemmas- me too.
    :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  40. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Well I have been busy my son took a job in Minot ND with the railroad I may be moving up there Brrrr.
    I am up to 11 grandchildren now, I have 3 Bio grandchildren and 8 step grandchildren
    One reason I haven't been around some of the arguments were personal and stupid so my feeling was "I aint got time for this"
     
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Good to hear from you Dave!
     

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