Last week, I was contacted by a fellow ATR who asked me about a teachers' "job fair" being planned on Tuesday, June 7th at the Brooklyn Museum. This "job fair" seems to be by invitation only and few, if any ATRs were invited. A teacher who wangled an invitation by going to 65 Court Street personally told me that various schools were represented and many newly minted "Teaching Fellows" and "Teach For America" candidates were being interviewed for all sort of positions, not just "special education" despite the hiring freeze.. The ATR that got the invitation only ran into two other ATRs at the "job fair" and the school administrators (mainly principals) were questioning the lack of interest by the ATRs in their school for their vacancies. The ATR did tell some of the principals that almost all the ATRs were not invited to the "job fair" and was almost universally greeted with disbelief to what the ATR said. It appears many of the administrators were unaware that the DOE did not invite the ATRs to the "job fair". What was most upsetting to me was the ATR claimed the UFT had their own welcome desk set up to great the teachers.
After talking to the ATR in detail and in depth, I have come to the disturbing conclusion that the DOE did not want the ATRs at the "job fair" and that is the reason why there were so few ATRs there. Why would the DOE do this to their own principals? Here are some reasons why.
- It convinces the unsuspecting principals that the ATRs are not interested in teaching classes and filling vacancies at their schools.
- Helps Tweed to continue to demonize the ATRs as teachers who don't want to and/or can't teach.
- Maybe sneaking in "newbie teachers" in some vacancies despite the hiring freeze by claiming there are no ATRs available to fill the vacancy.
My questions to the union are the following:
- Why didn't the UFT alert all the ATRs of this "job fair"?
- Is the union unwittingly aiding and abetting Tweed in further demonizing the ATRs?
- Are they making sure the DOE is listing all the vacancies in the "Open Market Transfer System"? If not, then why?