Saturday, January 31, 2015

ATR Hell - 1 Week Rotation VS. 1 Month

Why does an hour of pleasure feel like a minute and 45 minutes of pain feel like a year? It deals with human nature and if you're a spiritual person the very essence of the afterlife. I was reading one of the    
Apocryphal books and that very question was posed. It had me thinking about my ATR experiences.

Monday, I start a new school after spending almost two months in the best place I've been. (My ATR Heaven.) Last year I was in 31 schools! This year only 4. Great news right? Well that gets back to my original question. That two months seemed like a day. Some of you out there may have spent your last gig in Hades HS. I'm sure if you did, this weekend must seem like Mardi Gras.

Is it better to be in a place a week or a month? Well it depends on the place. You may be in a place where you are respected by the staff and students or you may end up in hell!

What is ATR hell? Well, you will be greeted on your first day by the first demon, X, the payroll secretary with, "Oh, you're the new sub. Fill out this card. Give me a copy of your drivers license, your social security number and your blood type. Fill out this time card. You have to punch in and out." You- "Do all teachers punch in and out? X- "No, but you're not a teacher, you're a sub." You- "No, I'm an ATR." X- "What's the difference?!" You- "Two master's degrees and 24 years of experience." X- "How nice for you! Go to the hall and patrol for the next two hours, then do cafeteria duty and then cover two self contained special ed classes. I hope you have a strong bladder because the last ATR didn't return the restroom key (smiling)". You can agree or refuse. If you refuse, you meet the second demon, M, an AP or one of the principal's girlfriends, who will insult you and threaten to call your ATR supervisor . Things will get progressively worse as you realize a teacher will call in sick daily because the students are completely out of control and the administration is there solely to police the teachers. The students realize you don't know them and ethier try to shit on you, or if you're lucky completely ignore you. If anything outrageous happens, the administration will blame you and you will get a visit from the third demon, the ATR supervisor, S, who will begin by asking why you haven't quit yet.  Each day will seem endless.

Last year I was in 9 of those hellish schools- (Dante's 9 levels of hell). This year I have been in 2. I can put up with almost anything for a week, but a month or more in Mefistofele High will push anyone to the edge of insanity. So for me, the weekly rotation was much better.

To all my fellow lion tamers, I hope you end up in a decent place.


  1. So happy I retired before things got this bad. I wasn't an ATR but I have friends that are. They were good teachers, still would be if the system permitted them to be. Some have retired and others are just biding their time. The saddest part is the still classroom teachers with the smug attitude of it being their "fault" and it can't happen to people who do their jobs. These people are in for a rude awakening if they stay on long enough.

  2. I think rotating more frequently works or very long leave coverages.

  3. Hi Francesco, I'm not sure what you mean. I've met ATRs who have been rotating more than 10 years. If an ATR is covering a long term leave he/she is usually left there until the teacher returns, which is usually beneficial for everyone concerned. When an ATR is left in a school for a month or more they are sometimes used for very menial (non- clerical) tasks (i.e. running elevators, hauling boxes and equipment in buildings without stairs, etc.).


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