NYCATR's star contibutor, Life in Limbo, has done it again: she's managed to get stuck under a low-lying limbo pole, with her poison pencil intact.
To the regular ATR readers and Friends of ATRs, I hope your summer is going well.
To the newly-minted ATRs, I hope that your fall down the rabbit hole provides a soft landing and there is a Mad Hatter waiting there with a very strong Margarita just for you (ask for a second, you’re going to need it).
So, after two years in the ATR pool and a year in a REAL position (at a completely insane and out-of-control school, but let’s not mention that-- oops, too late), why am I here writing for an ATR blog? Good question. I mean, I am a fully appointed teacher who had a satisfactory year by all accounts, right? Life in Limbo should be, for all intents and purposes, out of limbo. Right??
Wrong. Apparently, there is more than one type of limbo when you are in DOE Wonderland.
Let’s turn the clock back all the way to… May. You know, when you get to fill out your preference sheet? Yeah, that time period. I filled out mine requesting a job in my actual license area first, then requesting the job I already had as my second. When tentative assignments came out in June, I was informed that I was (most likely) going to have the same assignment next year. Ok, I thought, this is as good as it’s going to get in this crazy place and I love my colleagues, so yeah, I can handle that.
|Teachers line up for a job fair in September, 2011.|
So I am happily going about my business this summer–schlepping my kids to camp, swim lessons, and basically going with the flow, appreciating that no mandatory, but useless, “Job Fairs” are in my future for the first time in three years.
Then I get a text message. A colleague tells me that she stopped at school to introduce herself to the new (Leadership Academy) principal and that she got a chance to peek at the new organization sheet for the 12-13 school year.
My name was not on it. This puzzles me.
I did not receive an excess letter.
I did not receive an e-mail, phone call, or smoke signal indicating that I am in excess.
There was no indication that ANY excessing was necessary under our last principal back at the end of the year.
HR Connect still lists me as appointed to my school and NOT in excess.
An e-mail to my AP has not been returned.
Now, you may be asking, Why not just call and ask? In a universe devoid of absurdity, that would make sense. But this is the DOE, and we all went through the looking glass the day we signed on. So the obvious becomes, clearly, the last reasonable option.
IF I seek to correct the mistake, then I face being in a situation where I am dealing with a first-time principal with little actual teaching experience (I Googled) in a completely out-of-control school where there have been few, if any, actual consequences for disruptive behavior. I am facing a Leadership Academy principal who has never been a principal before, and who is likely in the building to perform one of two functions: to either drive the school in to the ground so it can be put on the closure list, OR, to get this school “under control” by beating up on teachers so the building can look like a “success” story. Neither scenario puts me or my colleagues in a winning (or even tenable) position. Seems like ten months of torture is on the menu regardless of which is true.
So I am now tempted to keep this under wraps. At this point, traveling from school to school weekly seems like a better deal than ten months of torture under a Learning Academy principal and the Common Core. In an odd way, given the options, the ATR is the better deal. Now I agree, they both completely suck, but at least the ATR option doesn’t require all the extra hours, paperwork, and “accountability”.
If my job is going to suck either way, I’ll take the suckage that requires less work.