Timeline: Highlights and Milestones

Dr. Jane Bluestein's timeline collageMilestones in the life and times of Dr. Jane Bluestein*

1951

Born, Philadelphia, PA.

1956

Move to Cherry Hill, NJ. Start Kindergarten at Coles School.

1967

Move from Cherry Hill to York, PA. Complete last two years of high school there.

1969

Graduate from York Suburban High School. Begin a long-term relationship with the University of Pittsburgh.

1973

Graduate from Pitt with a BS in Education. I’m invited to participate in a Graduate Intern Program for my Master of Arts in Teaching.

Meet Jerry Tereszkiewicz, future husband, just as I begin an intensive, year-long Masters of Arts in Teaching at a very challenging assignment in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

1974

Complete Masters Degree and begin teaching math, Grades 4 – 8. I love the job but, alas, it’s only a long-term sub arrangement, which ends all too soon.

After a few weeks of day-to-day subbing, I finally get hired full-time as a science and language arts teacher in a departmentalized elementary school.

1977

Decide, on my 26th birthday, to go back to school and end up in a Ph.D. program back at Pitt. Finish first course. Only 57 credits to go…

1979

Jerry and I get married in July.

1980

Finish my dissertation amidst a growing pile of boxes as we prepare to move out of state. Defend dissertation three days before we move.

After 11 years, I leave Pittsburgh and relocate to New Mexico, more or less on a hunch. It’s love at first sight!

Begin working as the coordinator of the Graduate Teaching Intern Program at the University of New Mexico.

Receive my Ph.D. six months after my defense, after I finally resolve a very small library fine with the Unversity of Pittsburgh.

1982

Complete and self-publish a survival manual for my first-year teaching interns, The Beginning Teacher’s Resource Handbook. Instructional Support Services is informally established.

1983

We register the business and Instructional Support Services becomes official! By the end of the school year, my position at UNM disappears. I’m on my own but continue to teach classes for several different universities over the next few years.

1985

First out-of-state speaking engagement, at the California Association for the Education of Young Children Convention.

Bring out Parents in a Pressure Cooker with Lynn Collins.

1986

Release of Being a Successful Teacher, formerly the self-published Beginning Teacher’s Resource Handbook.

Jerry leaves a much-hated job in construction and becomes full-time business manager for our business.

I release our first stationery items, including “Pads” on the Back, “TeacherSaver Memo Pads” and “Booster Shots” (elementary and secondary versions).

1988

First appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I’m invited back the following year.

1991

First European speaking engagement: a Self-Esteem conference in Cambridge.

1992

Instructional Support Services becomes an S-Corporation.

1993

Release of Parents, Teens & Boundaries.

1994

First Canadian job, in Iqualuit, Nunavut (then NW Territories).

1995

We move to our current address on Father Sky Ct NE.

I begin working with the Ministry of Education in Slovenia, making the first of many trips in the next 7 years.

Release of Mentors, Masters & Mrs. MacGregor: Stories of Teachers Making a Difference.

1996

Mentors, Masters & Mrs. MacGregor wins the Athena Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

1997

Release of Parents, Teens & Boundaries in Slovene.

Release of 21st Century Discipline in Slovene; also Japanese and Korean editions of Mentors.

Release of The Parent’s Little Book of Lists: Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Parenting.

Launch first version of this Web site.

1998

Book of Lists and Parents, Teens & Boundaries win Parents’ Choice Awards.

Release of Daily Riches: A Journal of Gratitude & Awareness.

1999

Begin working as a volunteer with high-risk youth at a day treatment center in Albuquerque.

After several years with Scholastic (and Instructor books and Edgell Communications before that), I release a revised edition of 21st Century Discipline, now with Frank Schaffer.

2000

Release of the Greek editions of Parents, Teens & Boundaries and The Parent’s Little Book of Lists, the latter of which also comes out in Turkish.

First engagements in Australia and New Zealand.

2001

I begin working with the Bureau of Education and Research. The quality of my full-day seminar improves significantly and the number of speaking engagements and markets for my work increases as well.

Release of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools.

2002

Release of video series, Responsibility, Respect and Relationships: Creating Emotionally Safe Schools.

2003

Begin working with Eric Katz on new book, High School’s Not Forever.

McGraw-Hill brings out two new books for the library market using material from Being a Successful Teacher: Skills for Successful Teaching and Keys to Classroom Management.

New logo, new address. New Web site launched. The second version has sections for parents and teachers at different grade levels. 

Release of ParentTapes on CD. Release of Parent Video series.

2004

Secure contract and spend the entire year working on the manuscript for High School’s Not Forever.

2005

We put the finishing touches on the manuscript for High School’s Not Forever and it goes into publication. Less than 24 hours later I make contact with an incredible editor at Corwin Publishing and begin what I hope will be a long, productive, and prosperous relationship with them. Plans for a 3rd edition of the Discipline book begins.

Sign contract with Corwin publishers for new editions of 21st Century Discipline and Being a Successful Teacher.

Release of new book, High School’s Not Forever; creation of dedicated Web site for new book.

I make the shift from overheads to PowerPoint.

I start using a slide show to welcome participants to my seminars and presentations. I include pictures of my own students from years past, as well as pictures I’ve taken of kids around the world.

I decide to cut back on my speaking engagements and for the first time since starting my business, block off two months between mid-November and mid-January. I actually decline work during this time to give me some time to recharge for the coming year. Although I am home, I spend the entire “break” working on a complete overhaul of 21st Century Discipline for the third edition.

2006

I bring back the Book of Article Reprints after having let it go out of print for several years. I include updated versions of all 20 of the articles that have been available individually, plus several new articles that have previously been seen in only very limited release.

Complete the revisions on 21st Century Discipline. In the meantime we are running out of copies of the existing (2nd edition) book. I spend much of the summer laying out a nearly-identical version of the second edition in order to fill existing orders and maintain the book’s availability until the 3rd edition is released in December.

I take an actual winter break and don’t spend it writing another book but instead kick back and hang with friends, read, take crafts classes, cook, and do stuff like a normal person. Sort of.

2007

After weeks of getting nowhere trying to get the rights back to 21st Century Discipline, I decide, for sanity’s sake to take what was to have been the 3rd edition in a different direction. We scuttle the old contract and agree to bring out a new book, The Win-Win Classroom, instead.

Just as The Win-Win Classroom nears its release date, Corwin invites me to do a Facilitator’s Guide to go with it. They also ask me to submit a proposal for the next book. I put together an outline for a new book for beginning teachers, tentatitvely entitled Becoming a Win-Win Teacher.

I reorganize and expand my blogs.

2008

I hire a Search Engine Optimization consultant and realize that this site is due for another overhaul— both visually and structurally. Update Meta data, add Analytics, and begin recreating each of the nearly 700 pages in this site, eliminating the frames and tables and using CSS positioning for version #3 instead. New colors, new graphics, and simpler navigation and my page rank begins to improve immediately.

Publication and release of The Win-Win Classroom Facilitator’s Guide. Contract for a book for beginning teachers. Several false starts on this book as I struggle to give it a voice and direction.

2008 also saw the return of the rights to Daily Riches, which I tweaked and reorganized a bit, and with a brand new, gorgeous cover design, re-released this book as Magic, Miracles and Synchronicity: A Journal of Gratitude and Awareness. Of course, this required a new Web site, which I started and will continue to work on as I can.

I started taking Italian language classes and at the end of October, headed (with Jerry) to Milan where we rented a car and spent the next week and a half visiting Lake Como, Pisa, Florence, Bologna (where we hooked up with a friend from high school, whom I hadn’t seen since), Maranello, and back to Milan to meet up with two friends from Albuquerque.

The following day included a couple highlights of Milan (the Duomo and the Last Supper) and a train ride to Genoa where we left on a fabulous Geek cruise of the Mediterranean, with stops in Naples (Pompeii and Sorrento), Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey, and Greece. The trip ended with a couple days in Nice with a return through Monaco, although we were both sick by then, and considerably slowed down.

2009

In July, two speaking engagements in Singapore tie in with a trip to Beijing for another Geek cruise, this one to totally new and unfamiliar places including South Korea and two cities in Japan (Fukuoka and Nagasaki), followed by two and a half magnificent days in and around Beijing. 

After a week on the road for my biggest client, the Bureau of Education and Research for the previous ten years, I’ve decided I need a break from the pace that that work demands. A hard call in a hard economy, but it was just time and I have to trust the signals I’m getting. I will finish out this year and move forward from there.

But by far the focus for 2009 was completing Becoming a Win-Win Teacher. This project becomes all-consuming, especially when I’m home.

I pretty much stop all my crafting as my studio gathers dust while I write, and other than a bit of swimming and weights for a few weeks in the summer, or walks with the dog that get shorter and slower as he passes his 14th birthday in July, I’m getting no exercise at all.

After months of wrestling with tons of research, ideas, notes, and interview data for a new book for beginning teachers, I finally find a voice and rhythm I can live with. The entire year is consumed with the creation of this book.

As always, it turns out bigger than expected, but unlike the direction I thought it would take initially, it squarely addresses some of the political issues new teachers often face, as well as reasons we leave the profession, why we stay, what we learned that doesn’t work, and what we have since found that does. By the end of the year, I’m in the first rush of editorial exchanges and totally exhausted.

2010

The year starts out with our having to say goodbye to Shadow, our amazing, 14-and-a-half-year-old dog. (Months later, I’m still not over the experience, gentle and humane—and necessary—as it may have been. Devastating.)

In February, after ten years of working with the Bureau of Education and Research, I formally request an indefinite leave of absence. The pace of presenting in a different city every day has taken a toll on my health and I need a little time off to regroup.

Heavy deadlines add to the stress, but ultimately lead to the April 25 release of Becoming a Win-Win Teacher. I am much relieved.

I am on vacation with Jerry in the Galapagos when the book comes out, so I don’t see it until I get back. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

My vacation is followed by speaking engagements in eastern Canada (my first job in the Maritimes) and Singapore and then I take the summer off. It’s the first time in years that I’ve been home and not on a book deadline. I spend a month watching World Cub matches and start going back to the gym and pool several times a week.

It is also in 2010 that I finally find the originals for Booster Shots (elementary and secondary versions), a product that was discontinued and which I was finally able to revise in digital format.

Another digital project that started taking shape during this time was the multi-language versions of “Pads” on the Back, now available as a reproducible download. By the end of the year, we have nearly 20 languages available.

2011

The year begins with an amazing trip to Argentina. After a couple days in Buenos Aires, we go to Iguazu Falls, and then back to Buenos Aires for a 12-day MacMania “Geek Cruise” to Santiago, Chile (with stops in the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Ushuaia, and Puerto Mont, a trip around the Horn, and a tour of the Chilean fjords and Glacier Alley). Absolutely amazing.

For the second time in a row, I miss the post-cruise excursion to Machu Picchu in favor of a job in Canada, this one in Calgary (for a great group I just couldn’t turn down).

Jerry has turned 62 and since he wasn’t even on the books for 2009, officially retires. His official role changes from Business Manager to Helpful Spouse. April brings my 60th birthday. Retirement discussions seem more frequent, but nothing more than that.

In July I sign a contract with Energize Students (which had been New Hope Charitable Foundation, a group that had supported my work for the past several years) to sponsor a series of podcasts. By the year’s end, I have a half-dozen Spectrum Podcast programs ready for launch.

I am invited to edit a kind of “greatest hits” book about classroom management for Corwin. In the fall, The Best of Corwin: Classroom Management is released.

The “Pads” on the Back Template project grows with the addition of Korean, Russian, Latvian, and Tagalog templates. I decide to offer the product for free to anyone who wants them. The search for more translators continues.

I take two classes in book publishing with InDesign, the second one on ePublishing. I have identified at least a half-dozen projects that need to head in this direction, although I am starting to realize that the intricacies of this new field will probably require a great deal of help.

2012

The year begins with the realization that I am not going to get anywhere with the projects I want to develop without some outside help. Work is slow and my cash flow is tighter than it’s been in more than a decade, but I commit to hiring help for another Web site redesign (with new features I have forgotten how to code), the beginning of a monthly Newsletter (which I’ve been wanting to do since I started this site), and ePublishing several resources (which I will probably farm out once I get them laid out, or at least in PDF form).

I continue working on the Spectrum Podcast Project, increasing the number and variety of topics I can offer on my site. By the end of summer, I have completed the 15 podcasts in the original contract with Energize Students, and after some negotiation, am happy that they will continue supporting my work in this area.

I begin meetings with a new Web designer and, with the help of a marketing expert, begin brainstorming ideas for the newsletter and revised site architecture.

After a nearly month-long break in Europe (including a Rhine River Geek Cruise and some R&R in southern France), I return home on May 1 to finally set up my Facebook Fan Page and launch my first Newsletter, the latter being something I’d been planning to do (and collecting names and email addresses for) for about a dozen years.

I’m invited to keynote the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum conference, a group of mostly college professors, which was a departure for me, as I usually work directly with people in the trenches in schools.

Although I hadn’t presented in more than 6 months, the longest stretch I’d gone in decades, as soon as I had that mike in my hand, the magic came back and by the end of the night, I was totally buzzed, realizing that a part of the balance I need in my life, for now at least, includes opportunities to present. I don’t think I realized how much I missed that. A job a month later in Kent, Washington confirms these feelings.

This has been a rather bizarre year. Financially tighter than anything we’ve seen in a long, long time, and only as winter approaches do I start feeling as though things are finally starting to move forward again—slowly, so slowly, but I’m not feeling quite as stuck or stagnant as I have since this time last year.

2013-2014

These two years of my life are tied up with a writing project. Two, in fact, although the 10k-word Managing 21st Century Classrooms book(let) only took a few weeks from start to finish. It’s a good, easy read and I was delighted to be writing for ASCD as I’ve been wanting to connect with them for some time.

In March of 2013, I was invited to co-author a new edition of a book on perfectionism. I knew the book and was interested in the topic and got some very strong internal message that said: YES, do this. Unfortunately, by Thanksgiving, it was clear that this co-authoring arrangement was not working out so that contract was terminated. (I’ve written about the experience of writing this book. Click here for more details.)

The second chapter of this journey started at the end of 2013 when I pitched my idea for the perfectionism to Health Communications, Inc., the publisher I had initially thought would be the best match for this topic. My editor gave the green light and in April 2014, I signed the contract for the actual version of this book—one that would occupy the next 12 months of my life. By the end of the year, I had finished the first 7 chapters, which made up the first two parts of the book.

papers-small2015

January: I wrote chapters 8-12 on the road—a writer’s retreat at a little cottage in Laguna Canyon, with a few days at a shared “mansion” in Carlsbad, CA, and a couple more at a lovely hotel in Tucson.

The road trip and time in California gave me the momentum I needed and by the time I got home, I was only a chapter away from starting part IV and what ended up being the last five chapters of the book.

Note: The image on the left is what my writing area looked like for months of my life while I was writing the final six chapters of the book.

On April 14—my 64th birthday—I submit the manuscript, the outline, the resource list, and the acknowledgements.

2018

Most of this year is devoted to helping my mom move into independent living. She’s doing great and is in a place that’s keeping her busy, active, and socially engaged. She makes a full recovery from a stroke and heart attack.

I have spent much of the year in crisis mode however, and I am starting to catch my breath by year’s end. I reflect on how drastically my priorities have shifted during this time and decide to make a number of changes in my business and my life. Meanwhile…

The book on Classroom Management comes out in Chinese. This is kind of a big deal because they rejected buying translation rights to The Win-Win Classroom. (It might have been the next book, Becoming a Win-Win Teacher. I can’t remember exactly…) Said it was too radical. 

Things change. And sometimes for the better.

In the middle of everything, I get my first job in South America, and in Bogotá, I work with teachers on my fifth continent!! Definitely a highlight of the year!

2019

On January 1, we started the new year as an sole proprietorship (LLC), having dis-incorporated the business the week before. I had been dropping pieces of the business and getting more picky about where and what I was going to do for work.

I manage to write up a few of the highlights of 2017 and 2018 in a single blog post and start in on some new priorities and goals early in the year.

Although I’ve let go of a lot of aspects of my work, I authorize an overhaul on the home page of this site and decide to continue converting old books, unpublished books, out-of-print books, and other materials to eBooks—a project that has gotten off to a slow start, but assuming I don’t run out of steam, will probably take up parts of the next 2-3 years. 

I finally make a very big decision to close up the store and actually give away most of the books I still have in stock. I reduced the price to below our cost on everything I have left and list about 10 titles on a “free books” page for as long as they last (or get recycled somewhere). 

In early February, I redesigned my newsletter and sent it out to my 4800+ contacts for the first time in about a year and a half, advertising the new site and the book give-away. Our inventory is slowly decreasing.

As I slow things down and enter Stage Next, my new tag line is Randomly Retired; Selectively Speaking. I find myself using the word “shedding” a lot, referring to changes in previous commitments and things I’m willing to do at this time in my life. This is a big deal.

During much of the past three years or so, I have experienced significant changes in my work life. I have wrestled with the depression and despair that accompany transitions like these, the ones that have me asking, “Who am I if I’m not working (or earning)?” 

But while the work and book sales have pretty much disappeared at this point, somehow I feel like I have crossed a line and have shifted into a place where being “randomly retired” and “selective speaking” (or even not at all), does not feel like a burden, or something I have to fix. I have no idea where I’m headed, but I do know that right now, I’m OK with being done.

*This is probably more information than anyone needs to know about me. I think I developed this page to give myself a better sense of perspective about where I was at the time, and also to note what I had accomplished over the years—something I often lose sight of as I move from one project to another. The photo collage at the top of the page is for my mom.

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