Thursday, August 23, 2012
They're Already Here!
There seems to be a general sense of betrayal in the ATR. Betrayal by the very union we having been paying into for our representation. Having become a member of this select ATR group, I find myself more isolated than ever. One would think that the UFT would call a general meeting for all the members of the ATR to discuss, to commiserate and devise a plan of action. They are supposed to be on on our side, and there is so much that needs to be looked at. So far, the lack of transparency has been blinding and the lack of support has been crippling. How many qualified, tenured teachers are in the ATR and please, let's break this down by license? Can we compare this list of teachers with a list of the newly hired and have the principals explain their hiring decisions? If we, as ATR, are a special designation, and it seems as if we are, then we demand to have representation as that designated body. After all, we are unique in this system -- with different concerns, different issues. The big issue of having to go to a different school each week is a major problem in our club but it is just about of no concern at all if you are an assigned teacher. Teacher observation is another issue that we all have to deal with, but just imagine having to be observed and rated in a classroom you have never been in before with a group of students you have just met giving a bogus lesson for a meaningless assessment. I think we have an issue here.
The ATR very simply serves to isolate and dishearten those teachers that have stuck with a very difficult and demanding calling. The stats on the number of "teachers" who run from the classroom within the first few years should increase the value of those who stick it out but it is quite the opposite. Instead of looking to keep us on board and as a resource in the fight for quality education for New York City kids, we are basically cut loose to float away. Not only are we left on our own; we are additionally demonized and degraded as dead weight by our own union. Just wait until this "paying teachers for not really teaching" makes the news cycle once again. There is no help out there. Oh, I know that if we were in DC we (the ATR) would already be out on the street but so what, make that a lesson learned. You see, the big picture of the privatization of education is not only getting in focus but hitting home. It's like in the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" where Kevin McCarthy warns the unsuspecting motorists "..they're here, they are already here"!