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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Waiting Game, in which the Former ATR Wonders About September



After a long absence, our star contributor, Life in Limbo, is back.   She has spent the year out of the ATR frying pan, but into the fire of an out-of-control school.  Her life, we're sorry to say, is still in limbo.
So it’s June. And so far, it appears that I will be spending my first summer in three years NOT wondering where I will end up in September. I should be happy. I should be relieved. I should be relaxed, but this is not the case.


The school to which I am appointed is out of control. There is a complete and total lack of discipline which, of late, has become downright dangerous. Forget the constant cell phone/iPod visibility and usage (one student even brings his laptop to school every day and plays games on it constantly. When told to put it away, he responds, “Touch my f***ing laptop and you won’t have no arm no more, B****.”) When told to put the laptop away by a dean or AP, he does. At least until the dean/AP leaves the room. Then the laptop is back out and he resumes his games. Administration refuses to confiscate any of the electronics. Most of the time they are nowhere to be found.

Fights in the hallways and classrooms happen several times a day. Students smoke pot in the stairwells and often come to school drunk at 8:00 in the morning after drinking in a local park before school. Line-of-duty injuries are common due to unruly students physically assaulting me. I have sustained more than one this year. Both incidents were deemed “accidents” and the consequences to the students were minimal. The teacher next door is out on a line-of-duty injury resulting in a dislocated shoulder as a result of a student slamming a door shut on him (another “accident”). Another teacher has been out for some time with a neck, back, and knee injury when two students running in the halls plowed into her and threw her to the floor. The hallways double as jogging tracks and we teachers are constantly jostled and bumped as we stand in the halls during passing. Hall roamers run into the classroom several times a day to harass other students, randomly shout obscenities at the teacher, perform hip-hop dances, hide from administration, or fight students in the classroom. 

Administration’s response to this has been anemic at best– student removal forms are never acted upon, incident reports are filled out and submitted, but fail to elicit even an “in-house” suspension. Students who fight are removed from the room, but are returned to class ten minutes later after being told that they “are making poor choices.” Students who curse at and threaten teachers are taken out of class for a few minutes and returned to class because “there is nowhere to put them and they need to be educated”.


I am fully appointed to this school, which means unless I am excessed, I will return here in September. Rumor has it that the administration is to be replaced, and while I have no concrete news on this, I think something is up, as we have a Quality Review coming up and the administration is noticeably quiet. A week before a QR would have them poking into classroom libraries, data binders, file cabinets, and scouring Post-it notes on bulletin boards for “actionable feedback.”  But nothing. It is as if they have thrown up their hands and left it all to fate.


I wonder about this. For all their faults, the administration in this building is not a “Gotcha Squad.” I don’t tremble with fear when they walk into the classroom and I have had extremely positive observations and interactions with them. However, the fact that I did press for suspensions for the students involved in my line-of-duty injuries may have caused them to lose face in the safety arena and I know they try hard to keep everything quiet. Since I am currently teaching out of license (sort of), I can easily be excessed if I become a “problem” and replaced with a newbie teacher in the appropriate license for the position. So I may very well be back in the ATR pool in September.

So as the end of the year approaches, I find that the ATR pool may not be as bad as returning to this dangerous school, especially if the administration IS replaced and we end up with reptiles from the Leadersh** Academy.

Either way, I lose.

32 comments:

  1. Has anyone bothered to analyze the certifications of the ATRs to see if there is a pattern that can used to determine the real reasons for the excessing? For example, I and my fellow Physics teacher were excessed together - with the comment that Physics wasn't necessary to graduate students in four years. My school also excessed several Chemistry teachers. In my rounds as an ATR I have met many teachers with certifications that were not specifically required for graduation - such as foreign languages other than Spanish, Art, Music and other areas that might be considered "enrichment". I wonder how much the pressure to graduate students in four years has distorted what used to be considered a true "liberal" education?

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  2. I have applied to many schools on the open market and have not received one call.

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    1. Same here. Since principals can do what they want, why hire us ATRs? We cost more

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  3. Option C would be to look for another position somewhere else.

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  4. Sounds like you are at either Automotive or Boys and Girls. I would rather be an ATR again than deal with that.

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  5. I have a math license. I have also applied for numerous jobs on the open market and have not received any call backs.

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  6. Why does Walcott allow this school to exist? Where are the parents? Why aren't teachers bringing in the media? Don't be fearful of going public. The DoE is not the CIA. Who is the principal? He should be held responsible. Walcott and Bloomberg should be brought up on charges. The constitutional right to an education is being withheld.

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  7. LIL:


    I am in a school exactly like yours, except it is scheduled to be a turnaround school. Unlike you I signed a "provisional contract" and had the option of leaving.


    I rather be an ATR than go back to the school and that is what I did.

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  8. does anyone know how us pon scum, i mean ATRs, will be rated at the end of the year? these supervisors all seem to be snakes in the grass

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    1. If we receive a S rating, an email will be sent to us during the week of June 18th to the 22nd according to HR at the DOE. If we receive a U rating, a field supervisor is supposed to hand deliver it at the school we are currently assigned. This is from the UFT.

      I am suspicious of anything the DOE does related to ATR's. My guess is number of people will receive U's due to attendance issues, probably even with doctor's notes. There are also others who are obvious targets and have been observed multiple times by field supervisors while covering classes out of their subject areas and received U's for classroom observations.

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    2. thanks for the update, tom! sadly, i believe the people at HR for the DOE over the uft. remember, uft reps also said the DOE would not send us week to week to different schools. wrong! they also had no clue about the W2 distribution and if we would be sent out of license etc.

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  9. Many people were notified today that they would be excessed. My school had 3 teachers excessed. My friends school had 9 people excessed. How are the current ATRs expected to get jobs?

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    Replies
    1. next year's gonna be a friggin mess. september ought to be very ugly

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  10. One observation and my field supervisor gave me a U rating. What are my options? Does anyone know? Where is the UFT now? Huh Mulgrew!!!!

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    1. you gotta grieve it asap. do not wait! then, with the grievance, go back in time and get exact dates when the field supervisor visited you and play his/her game. mention how you asked for PD, to observe them do a demo lesson, how they made references to your 'age' and 'salary scale' and how they served of no help to you. make it them against you.

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  11. I wonder just how many of received U ratings . Someone should gather this information it might be useful in our fight to show the treatment we receive.

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  12. Did anyone get their ratings yet?

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  13. Has anyone received their rating yet online?

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  14. Nope not anyone I know!

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    1. Just called HR and was told that the release of our end of the ratings will be delayed until Monday. I asked why there was no follow up email, and the response was she just received the information which was not relevant to my question.

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  15. Thanks for the information.

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  16. You mean like your test score rating?? One advantage you have - and I don't know what you teach- is that you have the summer to prepare in advance some active lessons for the kids- but if you have out of control kids they can't even do even moderately interactive lessons.

    Here in CA we are trying to fight value added- it is a joke- kids are threatened to show for the state test who are absent 50% of the time- so how is the test score relevant

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  17. Is that the test score rating you are talking about? What a joke that is...keep your head up please. Remember that you have the summer to prep for this nightmare school so do it wisely...have many various activities planned that you can just pull out should one not be working. And just try to relax the best you can

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  18. amazing, they still have not uploaded ratings

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  19. DOE has had 'technical issues' surprise surprise and apparently, ratings will be sent out today. HR connects said they should've been sent out already and people at CFN network aren't answering phone calls. uft says they'll be sent out today.

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  20. You can look at your payroll history. It'll indicate what you got for this 2012 year.

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    Replies
    1. thanks. i did that. if it says S for fiscal year 2012 then that means an S is in, right? thanks for your help!

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  21. Freaking UNSATISFACTORY is what I give NYC DOE!
    They were supposed to give the info on login to rating LAST WEEK.
    And they put the link up after the close of business on the next to last day.
    You need to be a hacker to get your rating.

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  22. I was on the phone with HR Connect for almost an hour because when I clickeD on the link it said I had no rating! Ok finally spoke to someone and retrieved by rating sheet..I didn't known I worked in district 96 Manhattan this year..I thought I worked in district 76? Now how do I get that corrected?

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  23. I'm in district 32 and it says i'm in district 96 too. go figure

    other thing i didn't understand was it says start and end of completion is 6/26/2012 and nothing was clicked for tenured, probationary or substitute

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  24. I think all atr's are in district 96. It is the excess pool district. I work in District 31 and my status also says district 96.

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  25. This is the first time I am being excessed after 6 years of teaching with S ratings. I teach computer class in a middle school while holding a Common Branch license - the chance of getting a permanent position from the ATR pool is going to be zero. I want to thank all those ATR's for their observations and thoughts about what to expect come Sept. - We all suspect it will be a disaster.
    I too have started a blog for those excessed - excessedteachernyc.blogspot.com - please add your comments - thanks and good luck
    Zeno

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