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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Old Bait and Switch Field Supervisor Trick

The author of this article has a name and a face--I've seen her picture.  Another person who saw her face was one of those new-fangled Field Supervisors who are supposed to evaluate the performance of ATR teachers. The Field Supervisor, however, chose to make believe he had never met this teacher...

So, I met with my Field Supervisor 9th period, Thursday afternoon while covering a class in my subject area. Specifically, he came in without notice--he just walked in as the kids did. No lesson plan was left for me by the teacher, but I was lucky in that the students were studying a unit I am more than familiar with. I used the "Do Now" to check in on what they knew, and quickly launched into a lesson. The students were responsive, attentive and produced written work. 

After the lesson, my supervisor was gushing. He said that I was somebody he wanted to see in their own classroom. Further, he said that any supervisor who had seen the lesson would've been satisfied. He asked me if I had written a lesson plan. I hadn't; as I explained to him, I really had no idea what the students were doing until I got there. No one in the Department office knew when I asked them earlier that day. This was also a CTT class--I'm not a Special Ed teacher, by the way. I was alone in a room which was supposed to have two teachers. Still, the Supervisor was glowing. He encouraged me to send out resumes and get back in the classroom. 

As it so happens, I have an interview coming up at a school which serves students not unlike the ones at the school I was placed in last week. Since I DO want to be hired, I emailed my supervisor asking if he would be willing to give me a reference. I explained I was just asking him to talk about the one lesson he saw. I also explained that I would tell the principal he had only seen me once. It's just that I need all the positive references I can get, especially from someone who is supposed to be evaluating me right now. My school closed a while ago, and while I have supervisors who will speak well of me, I'm over 40 and at top payscale. Too many of my interviews have been mind-numbing and emotionless. I figured having positive feedback on what I can do AS A SUB without any advance notice would help me.

Well, I got back a short, "Teach a good lesson with a good lesson plan and I will be happy to sing your praises." I did write back that: 1) He hadn't made clear how important the written lesson plan was to his evaluation and 2) If this had been my class, I would have had 24 hours to produce a written plan. Additionally, I added that I thought it was ironic that he had claimed any supervisor interested in hiring me would've been happy with what he saw, but he was unwilling to say this to an actual supervisor interested in hiring me.

Word to the wise: Don't trust these guys or expect much. I think they are just going to do the minimum. After all, some of these people are really just ATR's themselves--my guy is an ATR. If this job doesn't work out, back to the pool he goes. Why stick his neck out?

"Woman scorned" by Renette Vermeulen
For the meanwhile, I am going to call myself, "Dumped ATR" because I feel....dumped. Not bringing me home to Mom or the attention of any potential principals, is he?

Picture credits:


  1. I feel the same way, over 50 and up on the salary scale. Last week I was e-mailed 3 times for "immediate placement for ELA. Please send resume and cover letter." I did. Not one responded. I have excellent references, never had a u or a letter in my file so I assume it is due to the amount of years in the system They should just be honest and say apply if you have 1-5 years, more than that need not apply. When I am "allowed to cover a class", I am praised of how well I did. WOW! Like I didn't know that I can teach. I am told, "I wish we could keep you but we don't have the money." BLAH BLAH BLAH.
    I have to keep telling myself that they get what they deserve. Like the old saying . . .You get what you pay for.

  2. Here, here. Hang in.

  3. Since when is a lesson plan for the benefit of a supervisor. I strongly believe that it is more important to pick your boss than the other way around. Don't take a job just because someone praises. Remember when you don't know anything about a teacher praise is just as easy to give as negative feedback.