[MOSAIC] From the moderator....WAS teaching the book vs. teaching the reader

CNJPALMER at aol.com CNJPALMER at aol.com
Tue Sep 21 21:20:44 EDT 2010

I think this is time for a couple of quick reminders to the listserv. 
First of all, Keith does a great job with the list. The average member has  
NO idea how much he does behind the scenes to keep things running. He adds  
members, takes them off when they request, helps people when their school  
servers block their messages. He keeps the list up and running from a  
technological point of view. Neither Ginger nor I have his skills. Without  
Keith, there is no MOSAIC. And, he isn't getting rich doing this job, believe  me.
>From time to time, we get a listserv topic that provokes strong opinion  
verging on passionate emotions. When a topic gets a LOT of posts quickly, many 
 servers that receive the mosaic list mail see it as spam and no longer 
allow it  to get through. Members with certain email addresses no longer get 
mail and then  Keith has to try to cajole those responsible for the receiving 
servers to start  allowing mosaic mail again.  That is one reason we 
sometimes need to  put the list on moderation...
A second reason is that from time to time, emotions get strong enough on a  
topic so that it offends some people. When people are offended, they stop  
posting... or leave the list. Ginger, Keith and I start getting emails off 
list  complaining. When people stop posting or leave, we have shut out a 
certain  point of view. On the other hand, when we moderate a post because we 
feel it  might offend we may also be shutting out a point of view. That is 
NEVER the  goal...so how do we find a balance?
Our goal is to have a discussion forum that is SAFE... that allows  
disagreement but does not allow members to disagree in such a way as to squash  
someone else's point of view. You have my pledge to keep the listserv going ... 
 to keep discussion open as possible... but understand it is always that  
balancing act. We will always do our best to keep everyone participating and  
learning from each other. But that means sometimes the list goes on 
moderation.  If we flood the list with angry posts...servers go down from email 
volume and  also some teachers leave. 
I am open to hearing your opinions on how to keep the listserv a happy,  
learning-filled place. There are many teacher leaders on this  list. Email me 
off list...I will listen to your thoughts.
_CNJPalmer at aol.com_ (mailto:CNJPalmer at aol.com) 
In a message dated 9/19/2010 11:53:35 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
kmack at literacyworkshop.org writes:

I can  tell that there are multiple, strong opinions on a variety issues
regarding  instruction and practice and this is a good thing. I just want to
make sure  that our members keep posts focused on methods and not personal

I think that this conversation is valuable so please keep your  opinions
professional and respectful. I don't think any of us can assume to  know the
one "best" way to teach and reach the broad group of students in  any give

As an 8th grade LA/Reading teacher I found that  certain kids benefited more
from certain teaching styles and environments.  A student that struggled 
my (ahem) expert teaching went on to flourish  when we switched the student
to another teacher's classroom. I didn't take  this as a rejection of my
teaching, but on better meeting the needs of a  particular student.

When we are on emergency moderation, I only see the  first sentence or two 
a post. This is helpful to me time-wise as I can  quickly determine if a 
is legitimate and not spam or something that  should be sent to a person and
not the entire membership. 

So  please, post and *support* your opinions on professional practice and 
a  person. There is great value in respectful discussion.

I have just  rejected a couple messages that seemed a bit inflammatory and
personal. I  don't claim to catch every inappropriate message. Be kind,
respectful and  thoughtful and please let me put away my moderation Nazi 

I am  going to lean towards extreme caution while this thread is  active.


Keith Mack
Web Administrator for Mosaic  List
kmack at literacyworkshop.org

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