Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Once Traveling ATR Signs A Provisional Appointment At His New School.

The traveling ATR here, I have discontinued my blog for the rest of the school year and will post on my good friend Chaz's blog as a guest blogger. I have been in my new school a couple of weeks and I was called down to the office to sign my "Provisional appointment agreement" that leaves me in the school until the end of the school year. What does the "provisional appointment agreement" say? You can read it here. The "provisional agreement" allows either the Principal or the teacher to terminate the agreement in writing by June 15 or anytime before the date.

The teachers in the department are friendly and helpful and the Administration has left me alone, so far. The students are starting to realize that I am their teacher for the year and control their grade. Therefore, some of the students that misbehaved my first week are calming down. The students are almost two months behind the other classes because of a lack of a teacher and I have to get them on task and into a rhythm quickly if I am to prepare them for the Regents. in June.

The problems I have in taking over classes this far into the school year are many. I need to get to know 150 new names and try to evaluate their abilities. No easy task when you are trying to get the class into a learning mode. Further, I must get to understand the school's culture and teacher responsibilities. For example I was just told on Friday that I have been assigned to a working group during my professional period and have no clue what this working group has been doing and how do I fit in? Finally, this is a "restart school" and so I am supposed to be familiar with the teacher evaluation framework for teacher observations. Of course, I am totally clueless and am wondering how I will be evaluated?

Overall, I must admit I really enjoy teaching again and my being in one school teaching a meaningful subject is preferable to traveling all over Queens and be treated as a "tool" by the school's Administration and disrespected by the students. I hope the union dos not agree to the ATR weekly assignments next year. ATRs should be placed in one school and have a classroom position before the schools should be allowed to hire other teachers. No other proposal is acceptable.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations. And thanks for spot-on comments.


Pissedoffteacher said...

My ATR friends signed those provisional statements in three different schools in Queens and were both out at the end of the term. The principals have no desire to keep even the best. I hope things are different for you. It sucks that the kids suffer the most. You could have been teaching them from the beginning.

Chaz said...


Reading his stipulation, it seems that both he or the Principal can terminate the agreement at any time..

All ATRs offered jobs are and should be signing this provisional agreement. However, it is very possible that your ATR friends and the Administration just did not see eye to eye.

NYC Educator said...

I wish you all the best, Traveling ATR, and you're absolutely right that ATR teachers should be placed before anyone else is hired.

Anonymous said...

Reading your comments was startling in that I could have written the same thing!

It made me feel immeasurably better to see that my own experiences with trying to get classes back on their academic and disciplinary track (they were abandoned by a teacher who just literally disappeared without a word) are not unique, from the learning of the students' names to getting into the school's culture to learning the new school's procedures. It's HARD! And we feel frustrated because we're not "there" yet and we're used to being "there".

At least I'm being shown patience in getting "there" because the fact that I'm giving an Olympian effort to do so has been duly noted and verbally appreciated.

Thank you again for sharing your experiences, you really helped me.

veteran teacher said...

Maybe I am just senor cynical, but I don't get why ATRs would take a 'provisional' spot mid-year. The principal only has to pay a fraction of your salary and odds are will excess you at year's end. So the way I see it, in 5 to 6 months, you're most likely gonna be an ATR again any way.

I hope this spot turns out well for you, but knowing how much they will slash the budget next year, I would be skeptical

Best of luck though!

Tom Forbes said...

I would not sign an agreement for any school, but one in which I would feel comfortable and hopefully thrive. Trusting a principal or rating officer is a must. If you read the provisional agreement, you are there for the remainder of the school year. Either party can inform the other that they do not want to continue the relationship in the following school year and it must be done by 6/15. If HR doesn't hear anything by then, you are appointed in Sept. If it doesn't work out, I imagine a U or ineffective rating will be applied and you are back as an ATR 7/1. At least you will know early. They usually like doing this on the last day of school.

Anonymous said...

First of all--Good Luck!!

You need to speak with your new CL about the evaluation agreement, which from what I have been reading, makes it impossible for a teacher to get a good rating and puts the onus of the students' behavior on the teacher. It was unfortunately approved by the UFT.

Right now there is an elementary school in Queens that has a K opening, but the principal is somehow getting around the ATR requirement. She has been told of a very good ATR--an ATR that has gotten very good reviews from other principals in the district, however they didn't have a long-term assignment for him. She refuses to try him out.

veteran teacher said...

the principal has that right. he or she can hire whoever they would like. if they like the per diem in there, all they have to do is say they have not found a 'good fit.' over the summer, when the city relaxes its hiring freeze, a 22 yr old will be brought in to fill the position as he or she tries to drive a more senior teacher to quit

Anonymous said...

I also was forced to sign such an agreement at an HS. I was unwelcome and was shown the door in June.

veteran teacher said...

my instinct tells me as an atr not to take anything until a new mayor is in office

Anonymous said...

So Travelling ATR, it's been a couple of years. How's that provisional appointment going? I'm sure the Leadership Academy Scrooge recognized your mastery and appointed you....right?


Anonymous said...

Yes, I too would like to know what happened. My experience with provisional assignments is that I am being excessed no matter how earnest a job I do. Also, I am now at a school that might give me a developing (or hopefully not less) while I walked into the position with an Effective rating from my last provisional stint. One ATR colleague's lesson was criticized heavily, and according to him, unfairly just before they excessed him. I thought working provisionally was one way to stay safe, but I have come tor realize that if the principal wants to give ineffectives to please superiors then who better to give that ineffective to than the ATR who is part of that year's staff, but will be leaving end of June.
ATR frustrated

Anonymous said...


I have a question about my status as a provisionally hired ATR.

I have been hired for the year and signed the provisional agreement. Then, a week ago, I was called by a school where I would love to work and they offered me a permanent position. I was told by the 'new' principal that she called HR and the central offices and was told that since she is offering me a permanent position and therefore taking me onto her own staffing budget, that her offer trumps the provisional agreement I have signed. Now, the 'current' principal says No, he won't agree to let me go, and that I was misinformed. Where do I stand here? Both principals claim to know what they are talking about and I don't want to do the wrong thing. Thanks!