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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Need a REAL teacher? Call an ATR!

A fourth-grade class at PS 68 has been covered for weeks by per-diem substitutes.  When parent-teacher conferences came along last night, however, the principal realized that he needed a real teacher to speak to the parents.  He didn't call in the Marines.  He called an ATR teacher, named Rod,  who tells the story below.

Today I was asked to cover parent/teacher conferences at PS68. Their regular 4th grade teacher is out for five weeks on medical leave. The class has had day-to-day subs since then. Today, they needed a "real" teacher to deal with parents, report cards, explanations of test results and, of course, a work schedule that extends beyond the time required of a substitute. 

Well, the parents are upset. Their kids are falling behind, they claimed. Why aren't they putting a regular teacher like me in until the leave is over? They haven't had homework for three weeks. I think they confided in me because the kids who came with their parents were really excited about their day with me, reading and doing some fun school work for a change. They also saw a teacher with experience and a concern for their kids education.

I told them to speak to the AP. There are options…Oh, like me. I asked the Chapter Leader and he said the administration is too busy to deal with it and takes the easy way out. Too busy to run the school?

How sad for the kids, parents and me. I felt good, like a real teacher today, the first time since last year, teaching this class, getting them to shape up and talking with their parents. I would gladly stay, unlike some who suggest we don't want the responsibility . The DOE needs to look into poor management of schools like this. Stop blaming us. The UFT, too...Someone, please speak up!

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  1. The funny thing is how stuff like this never makes the Post or Daily News or the Times. The Times quotes city officials and the UFT stating how great the new algorithm is working.

    Good for you, though! Let's hope these parents complain to the principal and possibly downtown because as we all know, that's how stuff gets done.

    FYI, I found out this week that the DOE apparently double books us ATRs week to week meaning that they send us one school and send 2 different schools that we are coming and they are always shocked to get us. So, to the ATRs, as I found out, check your self service attendance regularly and keep track where you are week to week so we don't end up losing days

  2. Yes please speak up! Most of us want to teach and not babysit! The DOE needs to give principals incentives to hire us. The DOE is actually losing money as they allow new teachers to be hired when we can do a better job!

  3. To Vet Teacher--Are you sure about double booking? I'm unaware of anything like it. The schools are expecting me and nobody else.

  4. I think you may be on to something vet teacher. Half of the schools I have been to have told me that the ATRs they were suppose to get never showed up. How did you find out about this? Then why shouldn't we have the choice of the 2 schools?

  5. The secretary and AP at the school I was at last week both accused me of not showing up one week in October the second I walked in and told me they reported me to the DOE as 'no show'. My advice is to print out your weekly assignments so you are not charged the days.

    In my opinion, it's just another way to put the screws to us.

  6. They are stupid. If you were suppose to be there in Oct. why would you be there again?

  7. Today when I showed up at my school of the week inquired if three were any other ATRs as I always do. The aide or whoever gave me my program told me there were 3. One name was familiar so I sat down to wait for her. She never showed up so the school was going to call her in absent. I emailed her asap and asked her why she didn't show? Guess what? She was told to report to a DIFFERENT school! DOE is screwing up already! I don't know who we should tell about this new development? Amy..I don't want to hear Arundel? Or any other of the useless reps that I keep reporting vacancies tooo. I wish I knew someone in the media...

  8. Arundell is useless! When you speak to her, she acts like she lost the game of rocks, paper, scissors and got stuck as ATR liaison. When I asked her why people with 7-12 licenses were being sent to elementary schools, her response was to 'stop complaining, maybe you'll actually enjoy it.' When I responded by stating that I am concerned about being in a school outside of my license area that principals would harass me, she said,'That doesn't happen.' Whatever grass she is smoking, I wish she would send me some because it must be absolutely hallucinogenic.

  9. She is the worst! When I complained about traveling she told me that the woman in the DOE commutes everyday from Rockaway..yeah that's her choice and she goes to the same office EVERYDAY