Well, I am back into the ATR pool, complete with weekly assignments, administrative abuse, and student disrespect. Normally, I would be upset that I am not teaching but this year is very different than any other year. You see ATRs are not subject to the badly flawed teacher evaluation system! The Danielson rubric and the use of Common Core without a road-map or resources. That's right, ATRs will be rated under the old "satisfactory/unsatisfactory" system since the DOE cannot account for the "student growth" component that is incorporated in the "junk science" equation developed by the State. Moreover, I look forward to travel throughout the Queens high schools and evaluate the three components that makes a school good or bad for teachers and you will find it on the resurrected "Traveling ATR blog". .
The three criteria I will use to evaluate and grade the schools I will pass through are as follows:
- Administrative quality.
- Student body
- School tone/discipline policy
The student body is extremely important as the "peer effect" affects the overall student learning. A diverse and engaged student body will lead to a successful school like the one I was in last school year. On the other hand, if the student body is disengaged and unruly, the "broken window theory" will come into effect and the school will fail. The "peer effect" will make or break a school's potential for success.
Finally, school tone is very important and is usually a deal breaker for a school. The "peer effect" if it's a positive influence on the learning environment, the school will be successful. On the other hand, many schools are trying the restorative approach to student misconduct which allows the student to continue to disrupt the classroom time and again which interferes with student learning. While restorative approaches have their good points for the misbehaving student, it ignores the needs of the vast majority of students who follow the rules and want to learn but see that there is little consequence for student misbehavior. The school-wide restorative approach adds to the "broken window theory" and makes a successful school an impossibility for a school's academic success. A zero tolerance policy against student misconduct will eventually lead to a successful learning environment and go along way to make a successful school.
In summary, if you are an ATR and a school calls you for a long term replacement, check out the school on insideschools and schoolbook to get an understanding of what the school environment is. Without the necessary information about a school, I suggest you think really long and hard about taking a long-term leave replacement. I certainly will, especially with the badly flawed teacher evaluation system and the punitive Danialson rubric that will damage the teaching profession for years to come.