Thursday, September 05, 2013

Back Into The ATR Pool For Me.
























Well, I am back into the ATR pool, complete with weekly assignments, administrative abuse, and student disrespect.  Normally, I would be upset that I am not teaching but this year is very different than any other year.  You see ATRs are not subject to the badly flawed teacher evaluation systemThe Danielson rubric and the use of Common Core without a road-map or resources. That's right, ATRs will be rated under the old "satisfactory/unsatisfactory" system since the DOE cannot account for the "student growth" component that is incorporated in the "junk science" equation developed by the State.  Moreover, I look forward to travel throughout the Queens high schools and evaluate the three components that makes a school good or bad for teachers and you will find it on the resurrected "Traveling ATR blog". .

The three criteria I will use to evaluate and grade the schools I will pass through are as follows:

  1. Administrative quality.
  2. Student body
  3. School tone/discipline policy
The quality of the administration is of primary importance for a school's success or failure.  Last year I had the pleasure of being in a school the entire year where the administration worked collaboratively with staff and had an experienced teaching staff.  In this environment the students thrived academically and there was little fear of vindictive reprisals against effective teachers, even if they are outspoken since it's  "what's best for the students" .  By contrast beware of the Bloomberg small schools with "Leadership Academy Principals".  The staff is usually inexperienced and are required to work extra assignments without compensation.  These schools are  dangerous to the long term survival of a teacher.

The student body is extremely important as the "peer effect" affects the overall student learning. A diverse and engaged student body will lead to a successful school like the one I was in last school year.  On the other hand, if the student body is disengaged and unruly, the "broken window theory" will come into effect and the school will fail. The "peer effect" will make or break a school's potential for success.

Finally, school tone is very important and is usually a deal breaker for a school. The "peer effect" if it's a positive influence on the learning environment, the school will be successful. On the other hand, many schools are trying the restorative approach to student misconduct which allows the student to continue to disrupt the classroom time and again which interferes with student learning.  While restorative approaches have their good points for the misbehaving student, it ignores the needs of the vast majority of students who follow the rules and want to learn but see that there is little consequence for student misbehavior.  The school-wide restorative approach adds to the "broken window theory" and makes a successful school an impossibility for a school's academic success.  A zero tolerance policy against student misconduct will eventually lead to a successful learning environment and go along way to make a successful school.

In summary, if you are an ATR and a school calls you for a long term replacement, check out the school on insideschools and schoolbook to get an understanding of what the school environment is.  Without the necessary information about a school, I suggest you think really long and hard about taking a long-term leave replacement.  I certainly will, especially with the badly flawed teacher evaluation system and the punitive Danialson rubric that will damage the teaching profession for years to come.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would normally say sorry about your ATR status but I'm jealous that you won't be subject to this travesty for us.

How can I become an ATR?

Anonymous said...

Being an ATR is demoralizing and dehumanizing. No Danielson and no common core - that makes it ever so slightly bearable. Congrats to the doe for making every teacher in the system miserable and for degrading and screwing up a profession that was once fun and honotabke. 17 years in the system and I am treated like a pariah. Sorry that this gas happened to you again chaz. But haven't you heard that if a school wants to keep you that it can even if you don't want to stay? Isn't that true ?

Chaz said...

Anon 1:34

You're correct but if you tell the Principal that you don't fit in with the school's tone and that you rather move on they usually respect your wishes.

On the other hand, it must be for a long-term leave replacement and not for a vacancy! You can refuse to fill a vacancy.

Anonymous said...

Can u explain the difference between a long term leave replacement and a vacancy . I am pretty sure that I have been placed in a school that has a position open in my subject area and I am 100 percent sure that I don't want to stay there already. How do I know which type of opening it is ?! As for your study on schools that are worthy of employment I can tell you after doing this for 2 years that they are very few and far between.. Most schools have terrible incompetent administrators and most of teachers I have seen get totally taken advantage of by their administrators and never speak up to their union leaders . That is something I find with most atrs too - they do things that are totally not allowed in the contract . I never answer phones or file papers or do hall duty and the administrators hate me for it but I will not lose what little dignity I have . I don't know why most atrs do things they are not supposed to . We need to all stand together and say no.

Chaz said...

A vacancy is when a position is unfilled due to retirement, termination, or adding a subject.

A leave replacement is for a position that is vacant due to teacher illness, pregnancy, sabbatical.

A vacancy must be filled provisionally and you must sign it for you to fill it. If you refuse, they cannot make you stay. However, for leave replacements that is not the case and they can make you stay.

Anonymous said...

do art teachers on the leave replacement count against a schools budget for the time that they are teaching there?

Chaz said...

My understanding is that the school is charged for the cost of a substitute teacher and central pays the rest.

Anonymous said...

two excessed teachers that I used to work with have gotten leave replacement assignments until Jan at a school. Are they subject to danielson, or do they get evaluated as atrs under the old system?

Chaz said...

Anon 9:20

Unless they are there for the year, they are under the old system.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, i will let them know.

Laurie Komarovsky said...

Does anyone know how many ATRs are currently in NYC? Are there any stats on ATRs by subject area? I was trying to find that out and couldn't.
This is my first year as an ATR and most of what I've read about the treatment of ATRs makes me sick. Is it really so bad?

Chaz said...

Laurie

Last yer in November there were 1432 ATRs. Usually at the beginning of the school year the number is over 2,000.

The closing schools and the right for new schools not to hire ATRs can only lead to an increasing number of excessed teachers for this year.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that atr teachers have to go to those open market meetings? What if an atr is on vacation and can't make it to those meetings?
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

How many people are currently in the ATR?

Chaz said...

Probably around 2,000 and it will slowly drop to 1,500 by the end of the semester as ATRs take leave replacements and provisional vacancies.

Anonymous said...

You will not be rated under Danielson. ATR in a position for a year still will be rated by the ATR supervisor. DANIELSON will be used as a professional development tool. They still will be rated S or U