SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: September 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

BREAKING ATR NEWS!!! Beware of Being Manipulated by Sinister Forces!

Fear is a mighty strong emotion. We all have some fears. Some are rational and some are not. But these are OUR own fears. We have ownership over our fears and only can either decide to cave to our fears or fight back against the fears that inhabit our souls. But there is something, or rather, someone worse than our fears.

Who could it be you ask?

These types decide to manipulate and feel the need to pour gasoline on our fears for their own self-aggrandizement. Such types can be labeled sociopathic, psychotic, narcissistic, manipulative, or if a male, in possession of a Freudian physical shortcoming, in which they feel is grossly inadequate and to make up for the lack of size and find the only way to "feel big" is to make others feel small.

One can even say that this type of person is so overcome with their own fears, that their fears  control them, that the only way to make themselves feel a modicum of being fearless is to project their fears onto others, to make themselves feel powerful and important. They feel it is better to bring others down to their level of living in the gutter, rather than trying to move out and letting the sunlight expose them for what they really are.

As ATR's we are constantly living with our antennae in a constant state of alert. We go around wondering if this is the day they are going to get us. Is this the right school I am in? Will the principal or field supervisor judge me objectively? Will I have a bathroom key? Am I still a good teacher? Am I still an adequate human being?

Are the DOE and the UFT in cahoots against me and my fellow ATR's?

Yes, we need reassurance while needing the ability to be in control of our destinies. It is a powerful balancing act. How do we toe the line between the two? How do we "play the game," while at the same time keep the dignity we so deserve along with the ability to stand up for ourselves?

I know of one thing that does not accomplish either goal. Fear mongering.

Sadly in our ATR world there are, or is it "is," an entity so bereft of any empathetic values, so attuned into itself that the only way It feels it can succeed is by scaring the shit out of others and look down at the carnage It has created with a smile.

This disturbing email addressed to ATR's came across the desk of The Crack Team recently.

From: It <>
Date: Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM
Subject: IMPORTANT- 1 minute ATR Survey

Good afternoon,

     Whether you are now still an ATR, provisionally placed or just hired permanently this year, please take a quick moment to fill out this important ATR Survey. There is chatter that the DOE is releasing the names of all ATRs to a hedge fund backed parent group looking to attack ATRs in the press. They have already started last year in an effort to paint ATRs as sub par educators. We to counter their attacks and false claims with the truth.

Click here and take the survey by Friday please. The data we collect will mean less if only a few us contribute. Your names and email addresses will not be shared out. Results are listed at the bottom of the survey page.


Let's make one thing clear. This chatter, this thing that hedge funds are seeking out the names of ATR's is clear bullshit. Actually, this movement is being led by Students FirstNY and you can read the FOIL request here.  Even if the hedge funds are seeking out the names the DOE will not provide them voluntarily. This information comes to The Crack Team from very high up. Do not worry. Do not let the darkness of It control your emotions.

It had lofty goals, lofty plans, and worse, lofty promises. What has It had to show for all It has claimed? A .000 batting average. Nothing. Zero. Bupkus.

As Kirk said to Khan...
"but like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target! 

 What ATR's are getting in this email is a falsehood sent by a false self-anointed deity and just a desperate method to sign up others to It's flailing failure of a movement.

ATR's will not be played for fools or marks, and certainly won't be the targets of grifters or scheisters.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

BREAKING NEWS!! ATR Found Inefficient and Corrected Immediately!!!!!

The following comes to you from the files of, "This Shit Can't Be Made Up!"

A disturbing story came across the news desk of The Crack Team recently. It is so disturbing, so vile, so inane, we didn't know whether to laugh or to cry, or to spew chunks.

An ATR shared with us about their school which is being run by, as we were told, "nitpicking micro-managers (Administrators) who are up your ass everyday and in your room 2-3 times looking for something to provide 'actionable feedback."

Eventually one of these micro-managers found something so abhorrent, so revolting what this ATR had been doing it necessitated a quick "strategy conference."

The AP informed the ATR that handouts were being passed out the wrong way!


Wrong way? Does this mean with the wrong hand? I'm left-handed living in a right-handed world. When I pass out handouts (rexos) I hold the papers in my right hand and use my left hand to pass them out. Surely, this is a disciplinary offense?

Could it be the ATR did not flick the wrist properly? Or maybe did not center the handout correctly on the desk? Dear Lord, maybe a morning of PD on Election Day can rectify this problem.

So what really was the issue?

The ATR was chastised because it had taken 75 seconds to pass out the handouts. One minute and 15 seconds.

The AP shared with the ATR that these 75 seconds resulted in a lost of "quality learning" time that which over a year can result in the loss of several periods of learning.

The ATR was corrected. Kinda like in the manner in which The Shining when the Jack Nicholson was told to correct his wife.

The ATR was told to have handouts in piles per table groups and have the table captains walk up to pick them out and then hand them out at their tables. 

So here's the deal. How do we shave off the time and help this ATR pass out the handout in a quicker, more efficient manner that not only makes sense but is much more efficient?

This does not seem very efficient. What will that save, 3.75 seconds (Don't laugh. The Crack Team has tested out this scenario at The Crack Team's Educational Research Labs in Yonkers)?

The ATR can get one of those cannon things that shoot T-shirts at sporting events. Nah, can only do one at a time and will waste time loading it.

The ATR can stand in the middle of the class, or rather at this school the "Learning Environment," and throw the handouts up in the air and hope the all float to each student. Nah.

The Crack Team invested many hours on this one and came up with a solution. It is so simple and so plausible.

We have instructed the ATR to go to the science lab during the next thunderstorm and stand by many different chemicals. To ensure a lightning strike on the aforementioned chemicals the ATR, along with help from the school's science teacher, will build a lightning rod from the chemicals, out the window, and up to the roof of the school. During the storm lightning will hit the rod, come down through it to the chemicals which then will spill all over the ATR. At this moment the ATR will soon be blessed with speed as fast as light. Either that or wind up in 1955.

Or the ATR can go back in time to before Krypton exploded, knock out Jor-El and Lora and throw Kal-El out of the ship and blast off towards earth and have the true effects of the yellow Sun. Yeah, I know. This idea is kind of silly and unrealistic. The first idea is better.

Let's see the UFT come up with this kind of out of the box thinking.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

God Damn PTSD

So I spent the beginning of a school year in a school (except for the 2 hours back in 2013 until I was served papers) for the first time since 2013. Did my best to lay low, stayed quiet, helped out. Asked if I can go to lunch, stayed late on Tuesday, asked if I could have coffee when breakfast was served yesterday. Did what I had to do. Until this afternoon.

"Mr Zucker, please report to the main office. Mr Zucker, please report to the main office."

Oh, oh I thought. Did I do something?

As I was heading down to the office I racked my brain on what I possibly could have done.

Had I left early for lunch today? Just before I got outside I looked at my watch and it said 11:29:35 AM. Maybe I should have waited another 15 seconds.

I had clocked in a few minutes early and still had time to run across the street and pick up my pre-ordered breakfast. I was back in the cafeteria by 8 AM.

Maybe I just didn't  sign the acknowledgement that I had gotten the chancellor's regulations in yet even though we were told that we had until Friday.

Maybe I had left the toilet seat up?

Whatever it was it had to be bad.

I got to the office and the new AP was there. I asked her what I did. She said with a smile, "Nothing, just go in (principal's office) and we'll talk." OK, I thought.

So I walked in and the principal was standing at her door. I again asked if I had done anything and she said, with a smile, "Of course not," and in I walked.

However, the other AP was sitting at the conference table. Hmmm, what is going on I thought to myself. Something must.

I scoured the conference table for anything with my name on it. Looking for an A-420 form. An anecdotal. Something. In my mind I am thisclose to asking if I need the CL here with me. My heart is racing. I am conjuring all these scenarios in my mind. What is making this worse is they are taking THEIR TIME TO TELL ME WHY I WAS THERE!!!

Finally (WHEW!), the new AP sits down as well as the principal and they tell me what they needed me for.

The new 7th grade ELA teacher is having license issues and will be unable to start tomorrow. Until he gets things rectified I will cover his schedule.

That's it? Guess what I unclenched when I was told?

I am cool with that. The new AP took some time and shared with me what to do for the first two days and when I told her that I want to reach out to her again tomorrow for more assistance she was quite welcoming and nice about it.

Having never taught 7th grade ELA in the past I took time this evening to watch Dead Poet's Society which was coincidentally on tonight for some inspiration. Perhaps I will fair better than Mr Keating.

I know I was being irrational even at the time I was being irrational I rationalized that I was being irrational. But this is how it is for me now and will be for...I have no idea.

This is a classic case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And I consider this mild. I know of a very dear teacher friend of mine that vomits and can't get out of bed. But we all deal with PTSD in our own ways.

I hate this feeling. I hate when someone, or rather and administrator, just wants to say hi to me, all my bodily functions feel as if they will go awry. Gratefully, I have yet to lose control of said functions.

I am sure there are many more NYC teachers other than myself and my friend who have been through the ringer in the same situation and just as many who have PTSD worse much much worse.

What makes all those NYC teachers who are suffering with PTSD dven a sadder story is that for most, the actions, or inactions, of the NYCDOE are the cause of their suffering. But as usual, there is no accountability.

This is unacceptable. Teachers should not have to go through their careers with the burden of PTSD. Don't teachers have to deal with enough?

But people on high look down at those with PTSD. It can't be seen, it can't be touched. So you mustn't then have it. That is unless you are a veteran or a cop or a first responder.

But if you're a teacher there are no resources offered to you and you are told you need to get over it and put on that brave face at 8:15 AM every day.

Yeah, it is tough. But NYC teachers are tough. We can and will survive this.