I've always been a good friend. I think you could accuse me of being TOO good of a friend sometimes, but I'm also not really good at being a fake friend for Facebook, just to get someone's attention. When I lost my job, for example, it took me six months of pondering to get my FB and Linkedin contact lists to where most of my friends' profiles had been for years. However, with unemployment insurance gone and no offers on the table, it's time to expand my reach.
No, my friend list did not explode to 44,000, but that's how many people I'm counting on to help kickstart my life after unemployment after teaching. That's the number of newsletter emails I am currently sending out to those still stuck in schools, hoping some of those people will not only enjoy hearing from a former teacher, but also help a fellow American down on his luck.
A group of people the size of a small city will be receiving my email. Initial reports look like 1% open the emails almost right away. Some will never see the message, while others might stumble across something odd in their junk mail folders. Helena asked me what would happen if all 44,000 joined my Educabana website or bought one of my books on Amazon. I told her that would be too awesome to comprehend, but it shouldn't be, really, since these are 44,000 people who shared a dream with me, and many of them shared a union with me, and that's kind of what it was supposed to be for, until the union forgot about those of us who lost our jobs in order to send out mass emails about which candidate would best serve it.
My advice for all 44,000 educators is to run away from the union, save the $500 plus this year, and buy one of my books, or join Educabana and become a tutor. In reality, there were several thousand emails I was not able to procure in my quest to send my friends a message, so they will be next, assuming I get some response from my first list of friends. I feel bad that I can't find a way to send the message to all the retired teachers who I supported for years, but I guess they'd be my next, next list of close friends as I keep searching for the right way to start a business.
In all honesty, I am hoping for the union system to work one time in a way the union should have been promoting for years: several thousand people will feel better about themselves and their blessings and voluntarily help one who lost his job for no good reason. I'm not talking about supporting someone who was dating a current student or was insubordinate. Helping those who legitimately need it and deserve it based on membership: THAT's what a union is SUPPOSED to do. Plus, I'm not even asking for charity because I have online books to sell and online services to offer.
About 1/4 the way through the emailing, a teacher (who shall remain nameless) emailed me back and said, "Whoever wrote this crap doesn't know anything about teaching or unions." The email was fairly clearly from me, an individual TEACHER and UNION MEMBER. Therefore, I guess what he's saying is that teachers and unions don't know anything. While he might be an exception to the rule, I fear that others will somehow interpret my intentions wrongly. I am not an anti-union agitator, if those exist. I am simply a union member who was not satisfied with the service I received for $700 a year. However, I still believe in the concept of unions and in teaching as a profession.
The teacher from above re-emailed saying he might have bit my head off too quickly. No big deal. My first book sale came through, but it was from Australia (and not Wisconsin), so 20,000 emails into the game, nobody's deciding to read more. I guess I'll let the newsletter run its course. I'll say hello again once I launch Educabana. I also know that so many teachers are dealing with their own issues right now with the politics in our state, so maybe I'll have to move on to another state.
I know I'm calling it a little early, but I'd have to say this newsletter was probably NOT worth all the effort. It wasn't just about marketing, but I think so many emails are just about money that mine generally was ignored. Too bad.
My website host locked me out of the account, thinking I was running some kind of malicious script. I sent out 35,000 or so newsletters. The sale I made on a book a few days ago was a former student, which means I spent a lot of time and effort for nothing, reminding me of my teaching career.