Timeline: Highlights and Milestones
Milestones in the life and times of Dr. Jane Bluestein*
Born, Philadelphia, PA.
Move to Cherry Hill, NJ. Start Kindergarten at Coles School.
Move from Cherry Hill to York, PA. Complete last two years of high school there.
Graduate from York Suburban High School. Begin a long-term relationship with the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
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.
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…
Jerry and I get married in July.
Finish my dissertation amidst a growing pile of boxes as we prepare to move out of state. Defend dissertation three days before we move. Come home and finish packing.
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 documentation of my Ph.D. six months after my defense, as I finally resolve a very small library fine with the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
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.
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.
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 manager for our business.
First appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I’m invited back the following year. No real impact on book sales but this becomes the hottest line on my resume.
First European speaking engagement: a Self-Esteem conference in Cambridge.
Instructional Support Services becomes an S-Corporation.
Release of Parents, Teens & Boundaries.
First Canadian job, in Iqualuit, Nunavut (then NW Territories).
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.
Mentors, Masters & Mrs. MacGregor wins the Athena Award for Excellence in Mentoring.
Release of Parents, Teens & Boundaries in Slovene.
Release of 21st Century Discipline in Slovene; also Japanese and Korean editions of Mentors.
Launch first version of this website.
Release of Daily Riches: A Journal of Gratitude & Awareness (later republished as Magic, Miracles and Synchronicity.)
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.
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.
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.
Release of video series, Responsibility, Respect and Relationships: Creating Emotionally Safe Schools.
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 website launched. The second version has sections for parents and teachers at different grade levels.
Secure contract and spend the entire year working on the manuscript for High School’s Not Forever.
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 website for new book. (Site is no longer active.)
I make the shift from overheads to PowerPoint. This was a big step!!
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.
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.
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.
I hire a Search Engine Optimization consultant and realize that this site is due for another overhaul—both visually and structurally. I 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 website, 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 (MacMania) 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.
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. UPDATE: Revised and re-released as The Beginning Teacher’s Survival Guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 website 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
On January 1, we started the new year as a 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. In the meantime, my career seemed to be unraveling before my eyes! An opportunity to simplify, but traumatic at best!
The number of speaking engagements had started to decline and fewer schools had funding to bring me in. Most of the presentations and trainings I did this year and in the previous year or two were for private schools, conferences, or outside of the U.S. In addition, I started to notice that travel was becoming more and more tedious, even when I upgraded and booked an extra day at my destination. When I finished my last presentation in November, I did not have one definite job on the books. (This may have been the first time I wrapped up a year with nothing solid ahead.)
On top of that, two of my publishers decided to downsize or refocus their markets and very suddenly, about 8 or 9 of my books went out of print! I had opportunities to buy some of them at a good price, but if my speaking engagements were winding down (and many were jobs that did not lend themselves to book displays and sales). There was no point in adding to the pile of boxes in the garage.
The handwriting was on the wall. 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).
Although I’ve let go of a lot of aspects of my work, I did 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.
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.
For all practical purposes, 2020 was the year that wasn’t. I had very nothing on the books at the beginning of this period and what looked like possibilities dissolved when the pandemic hit in March.
I did a few online interviews, classes, and panels. I quickly became aware of how much I depend on the energy in a live audience, something that just doesn’t quite come through in a Zoom (or similar) exchange. Everyone and everything was shut down and way too much in survival for the usual work I was doing. So I brought my focus closer to home.
Looking for even more simplicity, I closed the LLC and decided that any upcoming work would be as a sole proprietor. I got us down to one bank account for everything and started to reimagine the space that had been devoted to the business (and a significant reason for buying this house in 1995).
I decommissioned my office and sold off (or gave away) nearly all of the furniture and much of my beloved stash of office supplies, which I no longer needed. I went through boxes and files and tossed a near-literal ton of paper into the recycle bin. I organized my (equally beloved) crafts supplies, including mass quantities of yarn (some going back to when I was in college), fiber for spinning and weaving, paper crafts, clay, beads, patterns and notes, and the furniture to make better use of the space.
I also started reading through journals and diaries going back to 1963, shredding page after page after page. The goal was bigger than just clearing off the shelves pictured at the left (which only held the journals from 1980-2012)!
In my “clearing” goals, I included clearing out any residual trauma that may or may not be lingering in my cells or nervous system. I gave myself permission to stop at any point at which the process became too painful, but the combination of this very deliberate and specific intention, along with reading and then shredding the pages, and finally releasing bag after bag of ex-journal confetti into recycling, seemed to be healing at a different level than when I was going through these experiences. (Note: some of what I read ended up being quite funny, sweet, and fun, by the way.)
That said, a few days after disposing of the last of the notes from one of the most painful and difficult periods of my life, I woke up to discover most of my shoulder-length hair on my pillow. It took another two weeks or so for it all to come out, during which time I looked a bit like Gollum and did everything I could to avoid looking in mirrors. (I never thought of myself as especially vain, but I’d also never thought of myself as ugly, either.)
I spent way too much time with way too many doctors and specialists, none of whom could explain why my hair fell out nor what could be done about it. Shrugs and sympathy, as they all suggested that I not be too hopeful about it growing back, which mercifully, it has been doing. Since no one has a better explanation, I simply attribute this experience to my immune system taking my goal of “clearing” a bit too literally.
In between doctor visits, I released the first book in the “Original Reprint Series,” a new edition of what had been called Becoming a Win-Win Teacher, going back to the roots of my very first book, re-titling this new release as The Beginning Teacher’s Survival Guide, which is what we should have been calling it all along. Because the times demanded it, I added a chapter I never imagined I’d need to write: Teaching During a Pandemic. Soon followed the 25th anniversary edition of The Parent’s Little Book of Lists, with the re-release of The Perfection Deception rolling over to 2022.
To add to the fun, in September of 2021, my mom came down with a breakthrough case of Covid, recovering only to discover that, at age 97, she needed hip-replacement surgery. She managed to pull through and was getting around just fine when she ended up back in rehab with a pelvic fracture.
Covid numbers were still way too high for me to travel with my compromised immune system, so I was back to spending day after day on the phone, or emailing or texting caregivers, doctors, and rehab personnel. (Hint: Make friends with the social workers. They were a true link to sanity for me!) A new little Jitterbug flip phone for her allowed us to actually converse daily.
Another physically and emotionally exhausting experience for everyone, although she pulled through and was doing much, much better by the end of the year.
A quick update as I got to visit my mom for 11 days at the end of March. I think my visit lifted her spirits and it certainly did me a world of good to see her getting around with her walker (with a new little motorized mobility chair for backup if necessary), and being engaged with friends and activities as though the previous six months hadn’t happened!
This was the first time I’ve been out of state since my last visit in December 2019. It was also the first time I’ve flown anywhere in more than two years. Even using miles to upgrade to the most comfortable travel experience possible, I was amazed at how thoroughly exhausting it was just getting from Albuquerque to Ft Lauderdale and back. I was quite aware (and equally amazed) that I used to do this. All. The. Time.
I think the thing that kept me the most calm when my return flight was cancelled, then delayed (taking me two days to get home), was the thought that I did not have to get up and present the next day. Although I have not ruled out speaking to a live audience at some point in the future, I think maybe retirement found me at just the right time. At least for now.
So as the end of April creeps up on me, I am focusing on updating and streamlining this website, and I await the release of the third book in the Original Reprint Series, a little-changed copy of The Perfection Deception. I have already started looking at a rather extensive revision of Parents, Teens and Boundaries, with other books and ideas sitting on back burners.
Jerry keeps reminding me that “it’s OK to be done,” and as I ease into that OK-ness, I’m finding that there are still things that feel like they deserve some attention. Working at my own pace—and in between continuing cleaning up my physical environment and indulging in wonderful crafts projects—it’s OK to just be where I am right now.
*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 various times, 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.
© 2012, 2015, 2019, 2022, Dr. Jane Bluestein
- Meet Dr. Bluestein in a brief introductory video. (Note: This is the same video as on our home page.)
- See what Dr. Bluestein can do for you: details on services offered.
- Classic CV/resume: Basic overview of background, education, and experience
- Information about Dr. Bluestein’s bio and background.
- List of Dr. Bluestein’s presentations and interview topics.
- Here’s a sampling of Dr. Bluestein’s audiences
- Testimonials: Read what people are saying about Dr. Jane Bluestein
- View Dr. Bluestein’s press kit to see where Dr. Bluestein has presented and worked with the media world-wide.
- Our media resources and policies.
- Topics and related questions for media interviews.
- Download a press photo to publicize your event.
- Print out a script for introducing Dr. Bluestein to your audience.
- Check out the milestones and highlights of Dr. Bluestein’s life and career.
- List of Dr. Bluestein’s resources: books, audio, video and other resources
- Contact Dr. Bluestein for any questions or to arrange an interview or event.
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