Wednesday, June 22, 2011

They Deserve Better

If you cut them, they will bleed.  Pain is as real to them as to any one of us, yet ATRs are being treated as subhuman beings and no one is doing anything to prevent this.

ATR 1 has moved from school to school.  Last year she found a "home", a school where the kids loved her and she loved them.  She worked hard, got them to succeed, got satisfactory ratings from her AP but got an excess letter in June anyway.  It was be gone and make room for the young one coming in.  This year, she was placed in a school far from home, but she did her best, built a relationship with the kids only to be transferred midyear.  The new school seemed like heaven.  Everything was going great. Along came June and along came the excess letter.

ATR 2 has a similar story to ATR 1, only slightly different.  ATR 2 was appointed to the school she is currently in.  They begged her to come to them.  Everything was going great.  She thought she finally landed a permanent position.  And then, along came June, complete with excess letter.

ATR 3 has a different background but has been bruised beyond belief as well.  He has gone above and beyond the requirements of any teacher in hopes of showing the stuff he is made of.  The school saw it and agreed he was great.  They gave him tutoring assignments and per session money.  But, they also saw him as working stock and piled on assignment after assignment, giving him only the bare minimum amount of time to have lunch.  He finally asked for equal treatment, only to be denied.  ATR 3 has no hope of being appointed to the school he is currently with.  The interviews he's been on end with a "don't call us."  He knows it is all about his age.

The part of all this that hurts me the most is the bashing that is coming from the ATR peers, with the superior attitude.  Any one of them could end up an ATR any minute.  It could happen from a closing school, a program that no longer exists or a vindictive principal.  How about ending the abuse from our end and starting a drive to support our fellow union members.  Remember, it is about us, and us includes the ATR.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

In a time of more than 9% unemployment its hard to have sympathy for these people, they have a job, they get paid. Any other job they would just be collecting unemployment!

Same Sit Different Desk said...

The ATR bashers who are peers/colleagues better change their tune....their time to become ATRs will be sooner than later. Then they will know the rampant age discrimination, exploitation, and pain of being an ATR. Needless to say, the union to whom these ATRs pay nearly the same $100 per month duly appointed teachers pay is doing NOTHING to help alleviate their dire situation.

bookworm said...

Thank you so much for that. This is my second year in the ATR pool due to a program that was discontinued. I could easily be your ATR 4. Next year, despite the admin in my current school telling me all year how happy they are with my work, it looks like more of the same if I am not laid off.

My confidence is so shaken that I sometimes wonder if I am any good at this at all, in spite of having a 10yr long track record of success.

Pissed Off said...

ATRs don't want or need sympathy. What they need and deserve is respect for the jobs they do and the jobs they should be doing.

Yes, it is good that they have a pay check, something they are earning every day. But, they should be practicing their craft and children should be benefittng from their knowledge.

Lisa2 said...

What is an ATR?

Ricochet said...

I am in school (getting another degree - which may shoot me in my foot). One class is Critical Thinking (dealing (in theory) with inuendoes, lies, etc.
The professor brought up ATRs as these horrible people that should be fired. I pointed out some are victimized by their principal who want them to quit while they hire cheaper new staff.

So she makes us watch Waiting for Superman - and once again spouts the same stuff. Nice to know she has critical thinking.

If been the target of a principal - but we don't have rubber rooms and the people here don't want to see it.

Pissed Off said...

ATR-absent teacher reserve

Teachers, who through no fault of their own are without a classroom.

NYC HS History Teacher said...

The scary thing is any one of us could be an ATR. I've always treated any adult who comes into my school with respect, be them substitutes, ATRs, whoever. Many work very hard, and were just placed in a difficult situation. Yeah, they still have a job, still that doesn't mean they should be used up like a cheap whore either.

Saying something like "in this economy at least they have a job" is kinda like saying "well, at least I don't have cancer." It's just an empty statement that means nothing, and fails to address the issue.