SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Next for the ATRs?...Oh, 5 DAYS LEFT!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Next for the ATRs?...Oh, 5 DAYS LEFT!!!

Five days left! We are in the home stretch. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Praise be. 

So ATRs are going to be teachers again. That's nice. But there are some issues. 

As for me I have been an ATR since December 2015. That 6 1/2 years. What training have I had on the latest reading, writing, and math curricula? It's more or less been some perfunctory gesture of administration, mostly on Monday afternoons. The big training, being sent somewhere on PD days or huddling with someone from Teacher's College, well never happened for me. And I am sure there are other ATRs in the same boat. 

Even if we have had sufficient training, when have we had the time to utilize such training? We aren't in a position long enough nor even a school long enough. We are not up on the latest year to year. We aren't even in the same school year to year. 

I used to pay for my son every winter for catching lessons. It helped because he was able to utilize what he was taught. But if he played right field would those catching lessons help him? Or if he played right field and had to catch a game, would he not be rusty or not acclimated to what he had been taught? 

It's the old, use it or lose it approach. 

But we will hear, "You have the same rights as every teacher in the school for PD." I have in the past asked to be included in specific PD's.  However, I was told, "We can only afford X amount of teachers to attend the PD," or something to that effect. And, if we cause a ruckus about not being able to participate then we get targeted. ATRs do there job and they do it they best that they can under really complex conditions. But, ATRs want to stay below the radar. It's a fact. 

Now, about this "forced placement." I understand, it's in the contract, the DOE can do it. But just because something can be happen, doesn't mean it should be happen. 

It's funny, since when does the DOE believe in the sanctity of the contract? Time after time the DOE picks and chooses what it will and will not honor in the contract, so why can't the UFT use this to ATRs advantage?

This announcement a few weeks ago didn't happen in a vacuum. And it didn't happen without the UFT knowing about it beforehand. Can't  the DOE in conjunction with the UFT work with each teacher (Say those who have been ATRs for five plus years) and together to find a good fit for the school and the ATR. It would be a win win situation. Everyone is happy, every gets something. 

Instead, ATRs are thrown blindly back into society without any say or possibly eroded skills. This is like after doing 45 years in prison. You leave with a suit and $25 and told, "Good luck, you're own your own, deal with it." ATRs don't even get to fill out a preference sheet! We can have a life long first grade teacher thrown into teaching 6th grade math. Does that make sense?

Oh let's not forget the old, "Well, you are a common branch teacher. You have a license which means you can teach 6th grade math even though you have taught 1st grade for 20 years." Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that's true. But when I decided to have my shoulder replaced, I went to a shoulder specialist, not a proctologist. Yes, both are licensed medical doctors under the State of New York, but only one has the experience and ability to replace my shoulder. Same with attorneys. 

And how will principals feel upon being forced an ATR they had no say about invading their building? Particularly mature teachers with many years in the system making a lot of money with institutional knowledge? How fast will ATRs be written up for failing to put the toilet seat down in the co-ed staff restroom?

What is the mechanism that will prevent undue harassment upon ATRs in schools they are not wanted? One, of course, is taking advantage of what the open market offers, but we know how well open market works (Sarcasm).

It sure would be swell if the UFT can have some type of meeting for ATRs before this big change takes place. There are many, many questions to be answered.


Anonymous said...

This is a great post!

The most important thing is having a principal who wants you. I’m lucky bc my principal is fair and happy to have me back, however, there are a lot of scumbag principals out there.

The principal is most important factor in this job.

Pete Zucker said...

You’re the exception, not the rule.