Saturday, August 11, 2012

Money, Money, Money

Well, the beat goes on.  I heard that my school has hired two rookies.  Now I know that along with me (computer teacher), an art teacher, a music teacher, a gym teacher and about six others were all given the asterisk. So, who is being hired at the school?  I am sure that there are plenty of licensed, experienced teachers from the ATR pool to fill any position in the core subjects.  So why go for a pair of rookies?  Especially in my old school, which,  like so many other "hard to staff" schools, usually benefits from having an experienced teacher in the room.  Believe me, during the six years of my tenure at the school,  I  saw legions of Teach for America people run after the first year, if they made it that far. Nothing against TFA, but anyone and everyone will tell you that there is a world of difference between sitting in and standing in front of a classroom. And it takes about five years of teaching before you really get your feet on the ground. So, like almost every other issue on the plate, it is a matter of money.
  I know everyone has to start somewhere and new teachers have to be out there trying to get hired, and hey, they have outrageous loans to pay off.  But when hiring decisions are based primarily on money in the budget, then having an experienced ATR teacher compete with someone who can be had for half the price is certainly not the way to keep a level playing field. I imagine some principals can put together a staff of inexperienced teachers and maybe be rewarded for coming in below budget. So, perhaps we will need to change how we evaluate a school. Perhaps the value of the school should really be measured by how well the principal kept within the budget. Just kidding, but what a waste of talent and what a demeaning way to be treated.  There are however, ways to utilize the talent in the "Reserve"; ways that can both be useful to the various schools under budget crunch and be mindful of the various talent and skills that will be available in the pool.  


  1. Why do you seem shocked? I told you it was all about the money! The worst thing about being an ATR is not knowing your placement from week to week.Hopefully when Bloomie leaves and we have a sane mayor we will be able to TEACH again.

  2. I'm not shocked nor am I naive about the role of money/power in the agenda at play here. I'm simply trying to frame the issue in the vain hope that something...anything could be changed from what we in the ATR anticipate come September.