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Saturday, December 3, 2011

UFT Chapter Leaders leave Gypsy Teacher feeling lonely

NYCATR's Gypsy Teacher recently spent a week at Brooklyn Tech High School.  She enjoyed her work (yes, ATR teachers work) but she has a disturbing report about the treatment she has received from UFT Chapter Leaders.  

A lonely Gypsy
These past 8 days I have been at Brooklyn Tech High School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. This school is mega big! It covers 9 floors and one long city block. Since I do not take elevators, I called the school to voice my concerns. They assured me they would try to keep me on lower floors and for the most part they did. The students are wonderful and did ALL the work that the teachers left--and every teacher did leave a real assignment. Why is it that in the better schools assignments are left when in other schools you have to hunt for sub lessons? Is it because the teachers in the less than stellar schools know that the students won’t do the assignments anyway? I don’t know the answer. 

I was given my daily assignments by aides. One was a bit rude but I ignored her. I never saw an AP or the Principal. And I never saw the UFT Chapter Leader. Neither did the other ATRs. Isn’t that supposed to be part of the agreement, that the Chapter Leader of each school greets us? I have never been greeted by a chapter leader! Why can the UFT break their promises to the ATR teachers and get away with it? 

There were two other ATRs at the school with me and we spoke about our frustration and feelings of anger. One is actually interviewing attorneys for a class action suit. Anyway, I spent most of my time in the classroom I was assigned. 

One day I went out for lunch. There are many restaurants and delis around the area but since I had to pay for parking almost every day I brought my lunch. Yes, parking is ridiculous. I was lucky a couple of times to find people pulling out of a space but I had to spend $15 a day to park most of the time. This along with gas and tolls turned out to be a very costly assignment. 

It would be nice if ATRs could be issued DOE parking passes to park around the schools they are assigned to. But why would they make things easier? 

In conclusion, great school. Terrible parking.

Photo credit:


  1. not sure where you live but there are lots of great subway connections as well as the Atlantic Avenue Terminal really close to Brooklyn Tech..not sure if it makes a difference now that the placement is over. Having the Atlantic Avenue Terminal close by is convenient, especially for those who like to attend PEP's at Brooklyn Tech...

  2. I live in Staten Island so the subway was not an option.

  3. the fact that there are subways near this particular school totally misses the point. Most people when they get offered a job are allowed to consider their transportation options before they accept the position. As ATRs we CANNOT do this. We must go wherever and whenever we are told. It is completely unprofessional and another way to disgust us.

  4. I feel your pain; I definitely do. I'm not a teacher, but I was once a consultant living in NYC. I was working on a huge project where I had to visit an office per day, so I do understand how terrible it is to have to find parking, *and* to be responsible for your own parking fees. I do hope the UFT takes your concerns seriously.

    That said, I attended Brooklyn Tech years ago, and lived in (on?) Staten Island my senior year. Had to take a bus, ferry, and then the train, but I made it on time every day, as I was way too young to drive. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to make difficult decisions, in order to do what we need to do, and I'm thinking that the UFT may not move on your concerns all that quickly, if ever. Best of luck to you; Brooklyn Tech is, indeed, an exceptional school.

  5. I agree! Even substitutes are allow the schools they prefer to sub in! Every week my stomach is in knots waiting to see where I will be assigned next. I hate this!

  6. dEC, 2011

    Read your article, thanks. Can you give me the name / email of the teacher that is considering a class action suit in support of the ATRs? I've been researching the same thing.

    Brooklyn ATR w/ 13 yrs teaching experience

  7. I will give her your email.

  8. Are we for real? I live in Freeport and have worked in Midtown for over20 years. Yes. Car to LIRR to subway to long walk to my office. And I'd never give it up! How come no one ever offered you a job??? My husband was at Lane when they went down and he got a position at an A school.