Flat Classroom ends a chapter, Moving Forward

Flat Classroom didn't make enough for two

This spring I had a little time to evaluate my life and took some time to think. It isn't that what Flat Classroom doing wasn't great, but what we were doing wasn't going to pay the bills for two people. I did the math a thousand ways and it wasn't going to happen. It needed to be sold to someone who had synergy with what was happening or one of us needed to let the other one try to make a living.

A Necessary Ending

As I've read the book Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud – he addresses many of these issues of being stuck and I chose to make a necessary ending and attempt to remove myself from Flat Classroom… not to do it harm but to let it grow under the leadership of my business partner and so I could free myself up to do things to earn money to send my two children to college.

Attempting to move forward

I have tried to move on. I attempted to sell my share, offered to buy her share, and then offered to voluntarily withdraw and just outright give my partner the projects. I'm not going to go into reasons but am now stuck in a situation where the only course of action is a judicial dissolution.

Yesterday, the assets were frozen as the judge prepares to divide the company between me and my business partner. So, you'll see some notices go up to that effect in the next few days. I wanted to tell those of you who follow the Flat Classroom Projects first right here on this blog so you'd hear from me.

I'm still co-owner of Flat Classroom

So, I'm not out of Flat Classroom yet. I'm 50/50 owner in the business although most of it has been taken from me without my consent and it is now over to the courts to determine what is fair and right to do with the websites, Nings, and all of the business. Judicial dissolution was never what I wanted but it is now left as the only choice in a very long, hard road.

The truth is that every email, every distribution list, every website, every single vestige of Flat Classroom was removed from my ownership as an offer was tendered for the business. After I turned over just about everything, the offer was withdrawn. I can't edit wikis, I can't email anyone even if I wanted to who participated on the project because those were mailing lists.

If you want to collaborate, reach out

I'm not done collaborating.  I'm going to start some of my own smaller (free) projects with my students at school. I'm planning a project in January studying the book Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 next. I'm ready to level up to make the project more collaborative. If you're interested in being one of the five classrooms, fill out this form.

This is why I think that free or very low cost services often do a disfavor to the education industry it is trying to serve. If we love things we should pay for them, because ultimately, every good service costs money to maintain. Flat Classroom will always be a dear project to my life’s work and the memories are amazing. The friends I made are precious and I hope that some of them will reach out in the years to come to collaborate again when the time is right.

Global Collaboration is essential to a modern education

I still say that Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time is the definitive guidebook on collaborating globally in the classroom and a must read for every 21st century teacher. Global collaboration is essential for a modern education.

I’m not done collaborating and am working hard to share with my students the best 21st century education possible and to share with you the tips, techniques, and pedagogical principles that will help you do it too. I look eagerly forward to collaborating, working, and innovating and learning from you as you (hopefully) do it too. Thank you for responding with empathy as we close one chapter and start writing new ones.

 

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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22 comments

EdTechSandyK November 14, 2013 - 4:49 pm

Vicki, I’m so sorry to hear that the Flat Classroom Projects have had to come to this resolution, but appreciate your transparency in what must be a very difficult ordeal for you. Praying it comes out well and looking forward to your future endeavors!

coolcatteacher November 14, 2013 - 4:58 pm

Thank you, Sandy for being kind.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

Sue Levine November 14, 2013 - 5:04 pm

Vicki, I know your heart was always in the right place. Your dedication and endless hours were apparant during the time I was in your class. Too often businesses get to this point. I have seen this at least five times. Best wishes to you as you navigate the rocky waters ahead and may you receive all of the joy and success that you deserve.

coolcatteacher November 14, 2013 - 5:17 pm

Thank you, Sue.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

Cindy Medeiros November 14, 2013 - 6:33 pm

Vicki, so sad to hear about this. I know you put a lot of work into this project. Hope things turn out okay.

coolcatteacher November 14, 2013 - 6:42 pm

My business partner has worked very hard too and all those teachers -I’m sad for both of us and sad that public notifications by my partner on all the project websites led my counsel to tell me I even had to write this in the first place. I really wanted to just let everyone know when it was over – not like this. Anyway – think I’m going to crawl up on the couch and be alone a bit.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

Bill Krakower November 14, 2013 - 7:14 pm

Vicki, so sad to hear about. I truly enjoyed taking the Flat Classroom Certification course last year with you. Also, enjoyed talking with you in person at edscape 2012.

coolcatteacher November 14, 2013 - 7:46 pm

Nice to meet you too Bill – hope our paths will cross again soon. I know that many great PD courses will continue to be offered from the book as it is truly a great book for educators.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

AngelaMaiers November 14, 2013 - 10:38 pm

Vicki, this is very sad but know you have enormous support. The flat classroom will be a part of your legacy. You live it everyday. Chin up my friend–the world still needs your contribution. Big and beautiful things ahead for you my friend!

YOU MATTER!

Brian McLaughlin November 15, 2013 - 8:00 am

Wow! I didn’t see that one coming. I have students in the current Flat Classroom Project and kept thinking how odd it was that I had not seen any sign of you! I thought maybe she’s on a sabbatical, maybe she’s taking a break; I though to myself – “I should shoot an email, just to let her know that I was thinking about her” But, the usual busyness of life took over and I let that thought drift away. Anyway, I am thinking of you now and I am very sad that the situation has developed as it has.

I appreciate you! I look forward to seeing you and working with you in the future. Best of luck!

coolcatteacher November 15, 2013 - 8:21 am

You’re such a great contributor and I will do my part to ensure that you and your students finish up with what I know is another great Flat Classroom project. I know both of us are committed to helping the projects move forward in some form and are hoping this can be handled speedily by the court system. (no comment) Anyway, thank you for reaching out. I was hoping to have my students in Flat Classroom in the spring but it looks like now I’m going to have to start something new. Thanks for being so awesome all these years.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

amyboddenbowllan November 15, 2013 - 8:41 am

Vicki, thank you for your years of contributions. We all have and will continue to learn from you.

coolcatteacher November 15, 2013 - 10:17 am

Thanks, Amy, and I’m still here and hope to keep contributing just in new ways. Thank you for leaving a comment, every comment means a lot to me.
– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

ssandifer November 15, 2013 - 9:36 am

Vicki — I am so sorry to hear this news. I have long admired this project and have referenced it so many times when sharing excellent examples of global collaboration. I know this must be such a difficult time for you because you poured so much of yourself into this project over the years, but please know that this project — YOUR work — has influenced change in so many classrooms around the world… probably many more than you can imagine. I pray that everything comes out for the very best for both of you as you work to resolve the situation and move forward. Please keep you chin up — you are an excellent educator, devoted mother, and a beautiful soul who works very hard to make the world a better place. I am a better educator because of the things I have learned from you, and I look forward to all of the wonderful new things that you will contribute to the world of learning. Hang in there… :-)

coolcatteacher November 15, 2013 - 10:18 am

Thank you, Stephanie for writing such an awesome book on wikis and teaching so many of us as well as your best wishes and kind words. Hopefully this will be resolved in a great way for all involved as so many go forward to create projects and improve old ones. Thanks.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

Steve Madsen November 15, 2013 - 4:22 pm

The Education World is worse off with the dissolvement of one of the better known dynamic duos. Flat Classroom, if it is to survive, does need to evolve in a changing world. I do find that Vicki’s blog entry is contradictory and when negotiations are entered in a formal manner the goal posts do change. That is just part of the negotiation process. Please keep the specific details out of the public sphere because so much positive time and devotion have been devoted to Flat Classroom by the leaders. The only winners here are the lawyers involved. A sad day indeed.

coolcatteacher November 15, 2013 - 10:37 pm

Sad that a public statement by my former partner forced me to have to write this at the advisement of my lawyers. It wasn’t something I wanted, for sure. Hopefully it will be behind everyone soon.
Vicki Davis
@coolcatteacher

James Lerman December 3, 2013 - 12:33 am

Dear Vicki,
So very sorry to hear about this turn of events. As a boss of mine once said, “Partnerships are not for sissies.”
The very hard work of you and your partner has resulted in so many great things for so many people. Without knowing the specifics, but reading between the lines, this must be quite a painful and aggravating time for you. Such a shame that so much negative energy must come from a venture that has been so positive for so long.
I think we only met once, but you feel like a close friend because of all the learning you have so generously passed along to me over the years. I really read you.
These tribulations will pass, the scar will heal, yet a bit of it will also remain. There are many lessons to be learned…some are hard and some more easy. You are a great person and will continue to thrive.
“In the end, everything is ok. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”
Peace and best wishes,

coolcatteacher December 3, 2013 - 8:18 am

Thank you for the kind words, James. Hopefully this will be done by Christmas but as you’ve said, the learning is never done.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis @coolcatteacher * Author, *Reinventing Writing *(2014) and *Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds*
– – – – – – –
BLOG https://www.coolcatteacher.com
FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
GOOGLE+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me

*::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::*

Techy Nana December 8, 2013 - 4:05 pm

I am sorry for your loss, Vicki, but Angela is correct that this is your legacy. I know you’ll need time to grieve and heal, but I also feel that the new window this provides for you will be just as exciting and enlightening as this has been. Good luck and blessings to you!

coolcatteacher December 8, 2013 - 4:43 pm

Thank you Techy Nana – I appreciate it so much!


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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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