Monday, December 11, 2006

Teachers Upset by Loss of Discovery Education Network Field Managers and Staff

The outrage from stunned teachers around the country over Discovery Education's shocking decision to fire their field managers and others in the education division continues.

Former Georgia DEN members Jeff Giddens and Daniel Rivera maintain the SEGA Tech and have posted a detailed description of their anger over the firings. Click here to go directly to the DEN post on the SEGA Tech site from December 8th.

The Art Guy at the Academic Aesthetic Blog has also been posting his personal comments on the situation with this post from December 7th.

Oklahoma DEN member Michael King has created a video to honor the DEN Field Managers on their amazing work over the past 18 months. View the video here.

The South Valley Jr High 9th grade broadcasting class featured a story on the recent DEN activity here in Liberty called "Tech or Treat" which was sponsored by Discovery and had over 60 area teacher attend. Check out their story here (the entire broadcast is good but if you want the DEN story it starts at around the 11:00 mark.) This was really what I thought DEN was about and it would not have been possible without the help our field manager Linda Chiles. Thanks Linda - at least we know that we put on one heck of a workshop and helped area teachers learn more about technology.

This will be may last post about the DEN situation. I'm still really upset at the decision made and don't think I can support a company that has done this to their loyal employees. I will be curious to see what the remaining DEN members decide to do as a plan for action - they are great people and they are left with an almost impossible task. There are too many great things still happening in education today and I need to start putting my energy there. I feel drained from a weekend of trying to make sense of it all.


  1. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Thank you, Eric. You are courageous and caring. Your podcast touched my heart and the hearts of my colleagues.

    Thank you are are two words I can say out loud with **spirit and exponential emphasis**.

    Here's to life ahead...

    Let's celebrate teaching and the thrill we get working with students, colleagues, and our own love for learning. I give thanks for having had the chance to meet *you* ( a truly awesome and inspiring educator - You rock, Eric!) and other Midwest DEN members at our Chicago Regional and also at the National DEN Regional in Silver Spring and to work with **amazing DEN Field Managers and staff**. I have wallowed in sadness now for almost five days now.

    I am ready to surface and be thankful for what I have. 2006 has, indeed, ended with less than cheer. My niece, Kimberlie, is fighting for her life at Fairview Hospital in Minnesota right now. She's only in her twenties & has agressive AML leukemia. My only brother, Jim, has battled colon cancer this year and my mom, heart failure, and struggling to stay upbeat. AND.. many of *you* have families and loved ones with far greater struggles than our work lives present. We gained much strenghth (and continue to read and re-read the comments, blogs, and our own personal emails) from the kindness and support of our DEN members. And, I know we all ***thank each and every one*** of you with heartfelt appreciation.

    Me... I am LUCKY to have known each of the DEN members I met, to have learned from them, to have shared many good times, laughs and new skills. I am also lucky to have worked with an exceptional team -- each one amazing!

    Eric - charge onwards and upwards and let's bring some joy back to Christmas and education!

    I am your fan forever,

    Jan Wee, Former Wisconsin DEN Field Manager

    PS... anyone know of good positions for some fine educators looking for a new adventure, let me know and I will share those with my colleagues.

  2. Anonymous4:39 PM

    After reading about this for the last few days on various blogs and in the post, I continue to be surprised by two things: the passion of educators in the DEN and the reaction of educators to this decision.

    What happened to the employees of Discovery, DEN and non-DEN, is what happens everyday in the corporate world. Be glad to be in education. You walk in, normal day and there sits a box on your desk, you're locked out of e-mail and your computer and may or may not have security waiting to escort you out. It's horrible, but it's happened to me, twice and most of my corporate for-profit friends. It even has happened to us right before Christmas and that big bonus.

    I completely empathize with the DEN and other Discovery employees let go. They did a fantastic job and I wish they were back, but grow up. Understand that corporate employees never know if they will have a job the next quarter. It's not a sure thing. It's one of the reasons I left that world.

  3. I also have had many family members that have been laid off from their jobs, but the big difference is that their jobs were outsourced, but the DEN field managers jobs weren't outsourced the were just done away with in the hopes to make a quick profit. Anyone that joined DEN was led to believe that this organization had a passion for education and was going to make a difference, not because they thought education was a business. That is why people are so upset because we thought we were going to make significant changes. Heaven forbid we should be passionate about something and voice our displeasure over being basically lied to. This may be how th business world is run, but education is not a business to us.

  4. Hi Eric,

    We are looking to reach Katherine Aiken, Rachel Amstutz and the other Fields Managers from the DEN (all 25 of them). This is regarding a community development opportunity at If anyone knows their names, and contact information that would be great!
    Let me know if you have questions.
    Renee Fields, Hotchalk, Inc.