Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The DOE "Job Fair" Was Like Going To An Oldies Convention But Without The Music. What A Waste Of Time.



I went to the mandatory DOE "job fair" for ATRs at the Brooklyn Museum and I felt I was at an oldies convention with almost all the teachers there being in their 40's, 50's and 60's. Only WCBS-FM was missing to supply the music. Conspicuous by their absence were young teachers. Of course the young teachers in excess were quickly gobbled up in the "Open Market Transfer System" and the "job fairs" over the summer as principals were looking for the cheapest, not "quality teachers" to fill their vacancies. What happened to the DOE's slogan of "children first"?

In my subject, which is considered a shortage area, I could found no Queens high schools looking to fill the position at the "oldies convention" oops I mean the DOE "job fair". Only a transfer school and a closing high school both in Brooklyn had openings in my field. On the positive side I did meet old friends I haven't seen in a year or two, including many who were excessed from my old high school. Normally, seeing so many excessed teachers my age could be depressing. However, meeting many of my peers and hearing their stories actually made for interesting conversation as we compared our futile search for jobs only to find how the principals were hiring "Teaching Fellows" and the "Teach For America" candidates and getting exemptions for the bogus "DOE hiring freeze" despite not having any teaching experience. I guess you can call it "education on the cheap".

If I were the DOE I would be very embarrassed about the "job fair". The preponderance of senior teachers, many of them "quality teachers" the DOE claims they need in the schools submitted resumes to the very few schools that seem to fit. In fact, almost half the seats where schools were supposed to be at the "job fair" were empty as the schools didn't bother to show up!. Moreover, the vast majority of the ATRs found few if any positions in their district or even Borough. To say it was "slim pickings" would be an understatement. The DOE should be ashamed of this travesty and the union has a lot of explaining to do in being part of it. Even the DOE promise of free parking was a lie as many of us were forced to pay between $5-$9 dollars to the museum parking lot even after showing them the paper we were at the "job fair". Of course, this is the DOE and lying to the teachers are just part of the game to disillusion us into resigning. Fat chance of that happening.

13 comments:

Pissed Off said...

DOE's mission is to make ATRs as miserable as possible in hope of getting them to quit. DON'T GIVE IN!!!!

Chaz--you are a great teacher. Anyone who thinks LIFO keeps bad teachers hasn't met you and people like you.

Pissed Off said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zulma said...

The Job Fair is just as bad as Student Fair Funding, where fairness is just a figment of the DoE's imagination.

chaz said...

It really was a travesty.

zulma said...

I'm not an ATR, but my heart goes out to my fellow colleagues. I can't imagine the frustration our colleagues are going through by attending a "Job Fair" that's as misleading as the title. The "Job Fair" is nothing else but another way of humilating the veteran teachers by only hiring the younger ones.

I'm so disgusted by the unfair treatment of my colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Michael Mulgrew MIA.

Ms. Tsouris said...

What a violation of human rights! A bait and switch scheme designed to make older and experienced and very worthy teachers to quit or retire. Don't give up, Chaz! You are a great teacher,(I've seen you teach and interact with kids!!) as are your ATR colleagues with whom I am friends and have also seen them with the kids!!

Anonymous said...

I've been told that at Bloomberg Corp., the policy to get rid of employees no longer in favor is to constantly transfer them from department to department until they quit in frustration. Obviously, the mayor is applying the same strategy at the DOE to get rid of veterans. I suppose he figures that if it works in private industry it'll work in the public sector.

Any former Bloomberg employees care to comment?

Anonymous said...

It is common place in the private industry to transfer your “problem” away. I have never seen this as a corporate policy or technique to get the person to quite. It is always the manager doesn’t want to deal with the person so they find a way to transfer them. It is normally like a trade, you take this person and I will owe you in the future. It is much easier to transfer someone that to fire them.

Union teachers think it is easy to fire someone if they aren’t in a union and don’t have tenure. I have fired people in the private industry and it is very difficult. Unless if they break a severe rule, such as striking someone, it normally takes a while to have someone fired. It normally takes months of documentation of failures and “performance improvement programs” (which never work) in order to fire someone. If you don’t follow this path you leave yourself open to a lawsuit. You can transfer someone within days with no documentation so it is a much easier path.

I can see how it leads to frustration but if the person were a quality employee they wouldn’t be transferred continuously. I have had employees transferred into my department as a favor to someone else. One of these employees has turned out to be one of my best employees and she has been promoted numerous times within my group. She and her old manager just had a personality conflict. On the other had I have accepted transfers that within days I tried to transfer again because they are that bad.

It is not easy to fire someone even if they aren’t in a union. Unfortunately, the saying “it is hard to find good help” is all to true. It is hard to find quality talent so when you do find it you don’t let them go.

Chaz said...

I guess you never have worked at the DOE.

Anonymous said...

I guess you have never done anything but teach.

Chaz said...

I am a second career teacher and came from private industry. As I said previously, you never worked for the DOE.

Anonymous said...

What was your first career?