Thursday, November 20, 2008

Under Appreciated and Often Abused

Under appreciated, often abused and classless but ATR's are performing a valuable service for our schools.

Before I begin, I want to state that I am not an ATR, I am in no danger of becoming an ATR and no one in my family is an ATR.

I have many friends that are ATRs and I know that they are not happy. They yearn to get back to teaching, to do the job they were trained to do. They yearn to do the job they love.

Here is the story of a few ATRs I know.
Ms. ATR subs every day in the same building and has gotten to know many students. Because she is not grading them, she is getting to know them on a personal level, adding the human touch, a big thing missing at a school as large as Packemin High.

Ms. ATR told me about Irv, a boy in one of my classes who either has cut or been a pain in the ass. She told me how bright he was, and that he was really not a bad kid. Her words helped bring Irv back to my class and helped me open my eyes to his true potential. I'm finding that I like this boy and that is all do to Ms. ATR.

Miri was in a class Ms. ATR was covering one day this week. Miri was crying. She is having severe health issues and doesn't know what to do. There was some mention of doctor troubles, insurance troubles and gym teacher troubles. Ms. ATR's intervention led to a conference with Miri's guidance counselor and the school social worker. Without Ms. ATR, Miri's problems might never have been noticed.

Ms. Mentor ATR is doing a great service as well. She is teaching two classes in her license and two out of license. She is knocking herself out doing this. She is being creative, she is doing projects and she is calling homes and giving quizzes and everything necessary to get the kids in her classes to work and pass. Ms. Mentor ATR is going above and beyond the expectations of someone in her position.

Mr. ATR is serving a good purpose. I watch him walk down the halls and get hi-5's from the kids he meets. I'm not talking about honor students here, I am talking about troubled kids. Mr. ATR is reaching them, not in the classroom, but everywhere else.

So, to all you ATRs out there, I know not having your own class sucks big time. You are being treated by crap by the union, the DOE and the schools you are working in. YOU ARE HELPING THE STUDENTS YOU ARE COMING IN CONTACT WITH. YOU ARE PERFORMING A VALUABLE JOB.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words of support--hopefully others will realize that many of us ATRs became ATRs because the system abused us. The large majority of us love teaching and interacting with students--our spirits are being trampled on by the administration, but there are always some students who can make us still feel worthy and important. We like to help children--that's why we became teachers to begin with!!!!

Schoolgal said...

The ATR situation is still the most disgusting thing Randi and her hacks have done. And it's only the beginning.

Schoolgal said...

Seems the UFT has reached an agreement with the DoE regarding the placement of ATRs. I hope it is successful.

ChiTown Girl said...

I've read many, many posts here now that mention ATRs, but I must admit, I don't know what that stands for. We don't have ATRs here in Chicago. Can you fill me in, please?

The ATRs you wrote about all sound wonderful. I think it's great that you gave them kudos here on your blog.

Pissedoffteacher said...

ATR stands for Absent Teacher Reserve. These are teachers whose school was closed or their positions were eliminated. Most are senior teachers with excellent ratings. No school will take them because of budgets and principal's dislike of older teachers with minds of their own.

Schoolgal, I hope you are right but I remember principal's never wanted older teachers and used to try to hide vacancies to avoid taking them. Now that they have a choice, they probably won't want them still.

Schoolgal said...

Edwize just posted a new agreement with Klein. Of course my comment hasn't been posted yet, but I am sure it will be deleted by the powers that be.

Here is a link I hope you will encourage NYC teachers to fill out.
It goes to the Obama transition team.

What the ATR provision actually did was strip senior teachers of their rightful seniority. Then they were branded as "incompetent".

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

As "ATR status" is looking to be more and more in my future(you've seen my school's Report Card) that is if I ever get out of the Rubber Room(which to be honest I hope I don't!)after I come back from a year's sabbatical I find this situtation to be not just disgusting as some one else commented but inhuman and cruel!

After 20+ years of loyal and competent service this is how the City of New York treats its season educators. Our union stabs us in the back with "the betrayal of 2005"(read contract) that created this mess and Bloom/Klein sharpen their knives in an effort to put us out into the streets.

Since there is no dignity and pride to what we do and the way we are treated we must think of just one thing and one thing alone--the money! Pay me, pension us and give us our medical benefits it is the least the Bloom/Klein can do for treating us like shit!