Saturday, June 20, 2009

Could My Death Be More Meaningful Than My Life


I just got this e-mail from an ATR I have gotten to know through the blogosphere. Beware before you read, it is very heavy and quite depressing.

Rita,

I only made it to one interview. The other two I couldn't get to because I had to be at school. I don't have any other interviews coming in. The one job where the principal liked me didn't work out because he had already committed to someone before he met me and it looks like he needs ESL not ELA and he can't handle both an ELA and ESL. I said I would teach ESL, but he will be out of compliance. He's looking into it, but it's not promising. I said I would commit to him for next year if he would commit to me, but he didn't bite.

I have no future.

Suppose I give Joey and Mitchell to my friend Marie and I shoot myself in the stairwell at XX High. My suicide note says something like, "ATR with no future, clocking out." I explain the one "U" rating. People will say kind things about me and all the kids will say how they liked me. It looks like the Eng Regents scores for the kids I tutored are good. Colleagues will say how nice I was. The principal at XX will say I was good with the kids. My old AP at YY High School will say nice things. Even if that bitch of a principal at ZZ HS says I was "troubled" that will be one bad thing in the middle of a story which says that this ATR business is killing off fairly young, talented teachers who were making a difference.

Please tell me why my life is worth more than my death?

Don't tell anyone I asked you this. It's purely theoretical. It's just I can't see, logically, why it doesn't make more sense to take a bullet for the cause and possibly change the situation.
Jane

Postscript:

And I just wondered if I did kill myself, so long as the dog's were safe, would it be useful. Would it change the tenor of the news?

But selfishly I love being with the dogs too much right now.


I don't know this person, other than from what she writes on line and from a few e-mails. I pray she will be all right. I asked her permission before I shared this letter. It is something everyone needs to read and I know this blog is much more popular than hers. I am sure any offers of support or a job will be appreciated.

8 comments:

Chaz said...

pissed off:

Your ATR friend must understand that she needs to redefine herself and make teaching a job not her life. Get hobbies and write in the blog.


Get angry at the DOE who put you in this situation and the UFT who did nothing about it. Does Michael Bloomberg or Joel Klein care if you die? No! You are just another senior teacher taking money from them. That should make you mad and by living you increase the pension they must pay you and the salary that makes them angry with your ATR status.

There are 1400 teachers just like you and another 800 teachers in rubber rooms that would just love to be in your ATR shoes.

You die and the Mayor & Chancellor win win and the people closest to you lose. Hang in there and don't dispair, it will get better.

Mr. Talk said...

I was pretty much rubber room bound. Meetings in the principal's office with my union rep, U ratings, collection of plans, false accusations, etc. It went on for almost two years, and then a job opened up at a school where I knew someone. I got the job. They like me at my new school and respect the work I do. I am considered a valued veteran. I was never this happy at my old school, and it never would have happened if my idiot principal hadn't targeted me.

Shit happens sometimes, and it's awful when you are going through it. But my experience has always been that you come out stronger and happier after you've gone through the wringer.

Best of luck--hang in there.

Anonymous said...

No job is worth your life including teaching.

Next time you have to interview, take the day. You are allowed a few personal days although they are supposed to be approved by the principal. (My principal had a teacher return to school for extended day even though she had taken the day to refinance her house.)

Write a letter to Mulgrew or whoever and ask how ATRs are protected if interviews are scheduled during the work day. Personally, I think the principal would have been happy to give you that day if it meant an opportunity to get you off the payroll.

But to take your life would make it a win for Klein who will only label you as a "troubled" person who should not be around children.

You are not used to "abuse", well welcome to the club. The trick is to remain strong and keep smiling no matter what the principal tells you to do and collect that check.

When I first wrote on Edwize that this system will be paying full salaries to glorified subs and how undignified it would be, it was Maise, a Hack, who replied ATRs would love working under sub conditions. I wish this person would now write to Maise so she could choke on her comment.

Schoolgal

Schoolgal

moriah said...

Dear Jane,

You are imagining your own suicide in detail. The place, the weapon, the contents of your suicide note. You are arranging your affairs—who to leave Joey and Mitchell with.

All of this means that you are in grave danger of actually going through with it.

Please, right now, go to the phone and dial the suicide hotline: Samaritans: 212 673 3000.

Your death will serve no purpose. All the good that you could have done throughout the rest of your natural life will be left undone.

Your colleague, Moriah

moriah said...

Pissed Off,

If you know anyone who might know "Jane" personally, please ask them to go to her (not e-mail or telephone) and help her get immediate help.

This is an emergency.

I wish I could be of more help. I cry for her.

Regards,

Moriah

Pissed Off said...

I only know her from the internet.

Floraine Kay said...

I know her personally and it's okay now. She needed to hear that people cared about her life.

Marcy Webb said...

Wow! Jane, you are in my thoughts and prayers. We DO care. :)