Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Saturday, May 23, 2015
As the representatives of 2,200 ATRs many of us have been waiting years for a meeting, visit, or even an email. The vast majority have never met either of you. Some of us wonder if you exist at all. We recently tried to start a Chapter and it would have been civil to at least voice an opinion. We heard, Amy, that you entered quietly at the end of the recent farcical festivities. To say we are dissatisfied with the representation we are receiving (!) would be an understatement. Camilla and Charles make public appearances and try to help advocate for others. I believe it would be a wonderful start for both of you to emulate them as positive role models and do the same.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
We must take each day as it comes. The same goes for people. Life is a gift. Have a great time.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
If you haven't seen an ATR supervisor yet, you may shortly. Many ATR APs took a buy out in March and were brought back on a part time status as ATR supervisors. Also many retired principals have been hired to supervise ATRs. Most have between 10 to 15 ATRs that have been specifically targeted for a variety of reasons.
I'll let you come to your own conclusions.
Friday, May 8, 2015
What caused this mishap, a class that didn't know English? No. I asked the class why no one signed their name. One young lady answered, somewhat abashed, that she was never taught to read or write script! So I said, " Let me get this straight, none of you can sign your names? How will you complete applications for employment, passports, driving or write checks?" One kid called out, "What's a check, mister?"
I was recently talking to a former elementary school teacher and was told penmanship is no longer being taught. It is simply deemed unimportant by the Common Core educrats. There are no more business classes and the kids don't know how to write a check, fill out an employment application, budget money or how to act properly on an interview. I tried to talk to two Senior girls who were slyly making fun of my business attire. I explained that when I go to work I have to dress professionally and that (hopefully) they would as well. One had flaming pink hair and the other a green Afro. They actually hung out with me for a half hour talking fashion. One wants to be a cosmetologist and was accepted to a pricey trade school. I told her a few years ago she could have gotten her license for free at a vocational high school. She asked me why they got rid of vocational high schools. I told her I really don't know. It seems we will have no tradespeople soon- only people who can take tests, but not sign their names.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
For many years, in the late 1970s and early 80s, my aunt and her friends would gather several times a week to pray for the collapse of the Soviet Union. She also said a rosary nightly for its collapse. At the time I didn't understand a faith that strong or why she would care so strongly for a people she had no connection with. She was from Ireland. One day I asked her. She said those people are suffering and need God's intervention. As a teenager, I shook my head and thought to myself that the Soviet Union would never fall. As I watched it's collapse and heard Mr. Reagan's statement "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.", I was certain, and still am, that it was God and prayer that did it.
So what's all this have to do with the plight of a couple of thousand of the most educated, experienced, and disenfranchised members of the UFT? Most ATRs are teachers who come from closing schools (and a few that have been cleared of charges) and are not wanted in any school because of their high salaries, knowledge, and experience. So we were sent to a different school every week last year and a different one every few weeks this year. We are treated with distain in most of the schools we go to. The students and staff refer to us as subs, and that is basically what we are. Many of us have become completely demoralized and quit, retire or have become sick.
ATRs are stigmatized and may need help from our union. There is a myriad of reasons for this. Do we get that help? Many Chapter Leaders in the schools we are in don't want to represent us. One recently told me he didn't want to get involved when I asked him for representation. Many are afraid and unaware of their duties and the new contract. We want our own chapter and true representation. We have been denied this. The reason, I believe, is because we are unwanted even by our own union.
The UFT is very similar to the Soviet Union before its fall. No disention, robotic adherence to Party, and complete blindness to the overwhelming suffering of its citizens. The Soviet Union fell. If the UFT doesn't start representing all its members fairly, it will as well. Large groups of teachers are completely disgusted. Monday night our union will have the opportunity to give voice to ATRs by allowing them their own chapter. Mr. Mulgrew, tear down this wall.