Wednesday, January 4, 2017
ATR Time Travel
At times it seems like I am living in some type of time warp. That feeling was prevalent when I returned last December from my suspension realizing that I had been out of the classroom, and a school, for 2 1/2 years. It was like I was returning from the dead or had been in some type of extended cryogenic stasis.
Things were so new. I been besides the fact that the teachers I have been seeing were suddenly a lot younger. Or maybe I had just gotten older. But there were more Smart Boards, more tablets, that transparency thingy that shows stuff on the Smart Board. It was whole new world.
Gratefully, I have, or it is starting to look like I had?, (OK, I am going to get grief for the question mark and the comma. I am sorry!) a background in educational technology so I was able to pick up on the technological aspect rather quickly. But one bugs me.
It's the lack of availability of relevant professional development.
Yeah, Mondays are nice. But most of the PD's I have been blessed with being in attendance don't, in my opinion, lead to practices of best teaching. Mostly these PD's deal with data, motivational readings, etc.. I, and I am sure many ATR's, want something we can really sink our teeth into.
Why can't ATR's when we are assigned to a school get time with all the consultants that come in to do training with the staff? Why can't ATR's be made aware of the latest methods, insights into reading, writing, math?
There are schools that I have been at that have had a week of Teachers College consultants come in to spend an inordinate amount of time with staff. Are ATR's invited? I haven't been.
Where are the workshops for Go Math that would help me familiarize myself with this curriculum?
Wouldn't having more knowledge of the latest curriculum of the moment better serve ATR's to assist us in getting permanent positions?
What about being sent off-site to PD? It's a no go.
Yes, I understand that there implementation difficulties involved, but.
Why then can't the the DOE make available off-site to ATR's by borough after school, on Monday's (Hey we are stating late anyway)? Yeah, they might have to pay training rate or per session, but hell, back when I was a staff developer we had this! We had after school staff development in which teachers showed and were interested in learning something new.
At the very least, our union, our UFT, the people we fork over $100 a month to should make the PD the teachers in the schools are having, what the teachers in our districts are learning available to all ATR's. Or does this count, because there ain't much there. Same lack of quality here.
ATr's can't and shouldn't be treated as an afterthought when it comes to best practices of teaching. We are invited to the dinner, but we don't get the entire meal. Just a taste.