Horror Stories From The ATR Pool.
With Halloween here, its time to recount some of the horror stories told to me by the ATRs in the last couple of years.
This nightmare started when an ATR, trying to go the extra yard in entertaining the class he was covering, by asking them to solve a math question, using a baseball analogy. In describing the problem he used statistics commonly used in baseball. However, one female student didn't understand the concept and he patiently explained the math problem to her. When she still didn't get it, the teacher explained that since she really didn't understand baseball he could see her confusion in solving the Math problem. The girl felt insulted and reported the ATR to the Principal who charged the ATR with gender discrimination and verbal abuse. The ATR ended up with a Letter To The File (LIF) and a "u rating" for the year.
LIF for the teacher and no disciplinary consequences for the three students who failed to do their work or follow the rules.
A student was feeling ill and the ATR, who was provisionally assigned to the school, told the student to go to the school clinic to be checked out. The teacher was trying to do what's right by having qualified medical personal observe her and to ensure the child's illness was not contagious to her classmates. The student refused to go and an argument ensued until the student reluctantly went to the school clinic. Two weeks later the Principal held a disciplinary hearing and charged the teacher with verbal abuse (yelling) and embarrassing the student in front of her classmates. The teacher ended up with a LIF and a "U rating" for the year.
A certified regular education Math ATR was dumped into a self-contained Special Education class all day without any technology or lesson plans left for the classes and was told by the Assistant Principal to keep them entertained when he complained about the lack of appropriate work for the students. He tried his best but the students were out of control and when the Assistant Principal walked in saw that the teacher was having trouble keeping them focused. The Assistant Principal gave the ATR a "U observation" for poor classroom management.
Then there was the field
This year, there is an ATR who was covering for a leave replacement in a severe shortage area where there are no other ATRs available who are certified in that Regents subject area, The ATR was threatened to be shot by a student. The result? The Frankenstein Principal removed the ATR from the school while the 125 students did not have a certified teacher available to replace the ATR for their Regents course. What happened to the student who threatened to kill the ATR? Despite the many witnesses to the threat, the school didn't even punish the student for the monstrous action of threatening to kill the ATR.
These are just a few of the many horror stories from the ATR pool. If you have some stories to share, please send them to the comment section and I will publish them.