I want to apologize to our subscribers since it has been SO long since we last posted. When we started Poor Teachers, we had some high ambitions about it becoming a site to not only help teachers but we looked at this site as an entrepreneurial venture to meet a need. Our tag line, “Helping the Overworked, Stressed Out, and Financially Poor” was without argument true and is still true today. We believed that when there is a need, that need should be filled. Teachers need help and we envisioned Poor Teachers not only helping teachers but also helping us personally.
Together, Stephanie and I came up with the idea of Poor Teachers because we believed it was a blogging niche that could help us mentally, financially, and in some manner, spiritually.
Mentally we believed Poor Teachers would help us to vent our frustrations and concerns with our profession. But every time I wrote such an article, I decided not to print it. Why? Fear. The fact is, we work in a profession that stifles any voice that challenges the status quo. We are trained to be good employees and we should never challenge the decisions non-teachers and non-educators demand of us. Some of us are better at keeping our mouths shut than others and personally I wanted to believe I had the guts to write what I was thinking. But in this day and age, with losing more and more teachers every year to budget cuts, it is not enough to just be great at your job; today we are scared into silent submission. So I bit my tongue and deleted those articles. Occasionally I may still demonstrate a little courage every now and then — because courage is needed. But mentally, Poor Teachers was not serving our needs to voice our frustrations.
Today, that voice is needed. Our new mission is to help lead a change in this profession. We need the heretics among us to stand up and tear down the conventions and institutions that keep our profession down.
Teachers are overworked, stressed out, and financially poor. We envision a day when teaching is not only an honorable career that we love because of the difference we make; but a career we love because we are remunerated for all of our hard work, our commitment to our students, and the value we bring to our community and our nation.
We would love for teachers to someday be mentioned in the same breath as doctors, engineers, and lawyers. It is not like we work less than these other professions. Our job is not inherently easier than these professions. Do we not mean as much to our community?
When Stephanie and I started our business, Walker Wimer Group, LLC we had one main blog, strongfigure.com, and a website design business, Walker Logic. As our business grew we began to take on new and different assignments, including Poor Teachers. Both of us have very demanding jobs outside of this business: I still teach, and Steph works to make Harrisonburg residents fitter, stronger, and healthier — quite an undertaking. Therefore, we made the commitment to ourselves to put what available time we have for the business into the ventures that yielded the most potential — specifically income potential. Last February, strongfigure.com began to take off. We went from getting about 10,000 unique views a month to getting over 170,000 unique views a month. The site was growing and growing exponentially. I had hoped the summer would be a time where I could get back to creating and building Poor Teachers but strongfigure.com just kept throwing more and more opportunities in our direction. So in fairness to our business, any available time I had for Walker Wimer Group had to go to Strong Figure.
Through these last several months it has nagged at me to continue working on Poor Teachers. Rationally, it made little sense to do so. Poor Teachers’ best day ever got under 200 views; whereas, Strong Figure has had over 50,000 views in a single day. We just haven’t put the time and money into what this site needs in terms of writing, social media, and marketing. But articles like, Stop and Celebrate Teachers, or the stories of Jack Burleson really did a lot of good for my well being. It feels good to share stories about middle-schoolers making a difference in a young man’s life and I want to continue this “idea” of ours because Poor Teachers is a good idea. It is a site that needs to be relevant.
Call for Action
We hope you help us in building Poor Teachers and join us in our vision to help teachers become one of the most valued, appreciated, and compensated professions in the country. If you are interested in helping us in this mission, please contact us or share your ideas on how to make Poor Teachers a site worthy of leading such a noble mission.
And finally, I want to thank our current subscribers for sticking with us through this hopefully temporary hiatus. You guys rock!