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.