Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ATRs to UFT - It is About Dignity, Don't Tell Us We Are Lucky to Have a Job

It is condescending to say I’m lucky to have a job.  I don’t feel lucky. ATR system is failing. Better to not have a job than stay and feel humiliated.
Please tell me.. where is MY protection that takes a HUGE chunk of my paycheck and tells me to sit back and obey.
Lucky not to get fired? At least if someone tried to fire me- I’d have grounds to find a lawyer and contest. You have stripped me of any rights. And now all I can do is hope that I will find something and feel like somebody before I lose myself.
I sat there all summer reading articles in papers not ONCE hearing any of MY story. The story of a 14 year award winning teacher that no one wanted. Where are those articles? 

I am a member of 2 unions- Actors Equity and the UFT. I believe in public schools and I did not ask for this. You my union has turned a blind eye on these ATRS most of whom are not there because they are a problem. Where is the article that talks about people like me?

 ---- Karen Sklaire speech to UFT Ex Bd, October 16, 2017
Karen Sklaire delivered one of the most powerful and emotional speeches to the UFT Ex Bd I've ever heard. You could hear a pin drop. And Mulgrew was even there to hear it. Kudos to Howie Schoor for being so tolerant of allowing people like Karen, who was not on his sign-up list, to have their say. Howie has done a great job of moderating what could be difficult meetings and fostering a cordial relationship between the leadership and the opposition.

Yes, where are you Kate Taylor of the NY Times with your biased reporting that turns a talented teacher like Karen into mud and makes her even more unemployable as the NY Times aids and abets what amounts to abuse?

And where is the UFT in countering that narrative?

How dare the UFT say, as they did last night, they can never change the public's minds about ATRs when they don't even try? Yes they were asked last night to counter the crap coming from reporters such as Kate Taylor and the Times editorial board.

If the UFT put Karen's speech up as a commercial she would change minds. When I heard them say that I practically leaped out of my seat when they put up pablum for commercials. I wish I had a video recorder yesterday.

[As I write this I am watching another UFT commercial about how public school proud they are -- where's their public school pride in allowing this to happen to Karen and so  many others?]

The bi-monthly MORE/New Action pre-Ex Bd meetings may be the most exciting things happening in the union for activists. Last night was no different as ATRs, led by active MORE members who are ATRs, showed up to make their case and get some answers from the UFT. (I have a lot more to say about our outstanding group of elected reps in coming days as I report on some of the rancor within MORE over their role.)

MORE and New Action High School Exec Bd reps have been doing a wonderful job since elected last year. The EB meets every 2 weeks, mostly on Mondays and we hold a pre-meeting downstairs in the back of the lobby. People who are speaking during the open mic period are invited to join the meeting and coordinate with them. For many of us, this has been among the most exciting work MORE has done.

Now I know Karen Sklaire's story because our MORE colleagues Alexandra Alves and Karen Arneson are chapter leader and delegate in her school. Alexandra and another colleague came to the EB to support Karen last night. I know that the old principal wanted to get rid of her theater program. And have followed her story through Alexandra and Karen Arneson, some of the best people I've met in MORE. I went with them to see Karen's one woman show at The Fringe a few years ago.

Arthur Goldstein reported at NYC Educator on Karen's statement:
Karen Sklaire—ATR—15 year teacher of theater—excessed.  No theater positions available. Say UFT said there was no union representation for ATRs. Second excess in 15 years. First time alone in a room for three years. Left and came back when recruited. Won RFK award in teaching, excessed two years later. Had opportunity to sub for six months—rejected by DOE. Have been assistant in 1st grade, making copies. Told by DOE can’t be placed. Told by union lucky to have job. Am pro union, has been nothing but a heartbreak. I just want to say it’s heartbreaking and I’m ready to leave. Condescending to say I’m lucky to have a job.  I don’t feel lucky. ATR system is failing. Better to not have a job than stay and feel humiliated. Schools won’t see me because I’m ATR with 15 years. Only people fighting for me are DOE theater program people.
He also reported on other great statements (sorry I don't have a transcript of these remarks as I do of Karen's).
Gina Trent—English teacher for 17 years, mostly as ATR. Grateful UFT preserved salary and benefits. However, you should fight for more quality of life issues. Most of my colleagues envy ATR position. Disturbing. Many young people leave with health issues and stress. We need to try to get principals accountable where all teachers have no trust. We need to place pressure. We need to defend ATRs and senior teachers. Research suggests we are the most effective. 
And MORE associates:
Aixa Rodriguez—ESL teacher and ATR, rated HE—No vacancies for ESL in Bronx HS—CR Part 154 makes courses double counted so there are no vacancies. Asks that stereotyping FSF, be challenged by UFT. Leads to rampant ageism.

August Leppelmeier—NYT maligned character of ATRs. Very unfair. Most ATRs excessed for downsizing. Somehow city isn’t placing ESL teachers. Those charged have been cleared. If not, they’d be fired. UFT needs to stand by concept that people are exonerated. Expects union to fight in press with ads, speak publicly, use social media. Has been going on since June. We expect more.

Karen was kind enough to send me her written version of the speech, though I wish you saw Karen, who is trained to be in front of a crowd, in person. Too bad the UFT doesn't allow taping - if they put Karen's speech on line it would have an impact.

 Karen Sklaire's speech (which she said were talking notes).
Good Evening

My name is Karen Sklaire. I am entering my 15th year as a theater teacher for the DOE. I am the 2015 recipient of The Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Honor as a teacher and actor creating the first world wide theater lesson that has been translated in over 22 languages. 

As a theater teacher I have created curriculum for K-5 theater teachers, was one of the original teachers who rolled out the Blueprint for the Arts, I created the first Robert F Kennedy human rights theater camp merging human rights education and theater as a way of teaching empathy in the classroom. The camp gave scholarships to underserved communities. I have merged with Broadway Theaters to bring students to their first Broadway production and directed many shows. My curriculum is significant in ESL, ELL and ENL communities as a way of teaching children to understand the language through their body and learn how to enunciate. I am currently on the DOE facilitator team for theater where I’ll be leading a workshop at the city wide Professional Development this coming November on using empathy in Playwriting. 

I have been a highly effective teacher up until the last year. where my principal did not visit my classroom till March and gave me effectives across the board because she was told to not give out highly effectives. I am now an ATR. This is my second time. 

In 2007 I was excessed within the first month of school and made to sit alone in a room only to sub very rarely at the school I was at at the time. I was forced to take the first job which was a high school in The Bronx that moved the principal to strategically punish me until I quit. 

I came back a year later after being sought after because of my reputation as an excellent hard working teacher. My principal did not inform me of being excessed till the week before school ended. All really qualifiable positions had been filled already and budgets were in place. I spent the summer applying to as many jobs as I could but only ONE called me in as they needed a music teacher and could I do that. Which I cannot. 

I was told the word ATR was like the scarlet letter of teaching. Either my salary was too high or they didn’t trust me because of my status. 

I sat there all summer reading articles in papers not ONCE hearing any of MY story. The story of a 14 year award winning teacher that no one wanted. Where are those articles? 

I have been kicked around this year in the most demeaning way. A principal told me that the DOE is trying to get me to leave which is why they said NO to any long term sub positions that would have had me actually WORK for my salary instead of being an assistant for a 24 year old first grade teacher. I remember sitting in a closet filing her papers in her portfolios crying and wondering why I was being punished. 

The Union person I spoke to said that I consider myself lucky that I still have a job. I wondered if that person would say to a person who was in an abusive relationshop- your lucky your not alone. 

It was not their fault- that is what they are told to say. And I have heard it over and over. I even have an award winning show about it. Every opportunity I had to possibly get placed the DOE stood in my way. The union said that's the rules. I have experienced a nervous breakdown and have still showed up to my demeaning position. I had the heads of arts and special programs and a current part time gig I have scream at the DOE saying they got the wrong person lost in the system. There IS NO job for me on this October 16 except a possible 3 day a week gig in Inwood. I’m currently subbing in a performing arts school in the Bronx. My commute for both is about one hour and 40 minutes. I am exhausted and I have too much talent and a huge resume and no one to hire me. I can't imagine enduring this for a whole year so it’s up to me to move my home so I can probably take a lesser paying gig to keep my sanity. 

I am a member of 2 unions- Actors Equity and the UFT. I believe in public schools and I did not ask for this. You my union has turned a blind eye on these ATRS most of whom are not there because they are a problem. Where is the article that talks about people like me? How much emotional abuse must I endure before I break?
Please tell me.. where is MY protection that takes a HUGE chunk of my paycheck and tells me to sit back and obey.
Lucky not to get fired? At least if someone tried to fire me- I’d have grounds to find a lawyer and contest. You have stripped me of any rights. And now all I can do is hope that I will find something and feel like somebody before I lose myself.
Her website is Karen Sklaire 
Karen will be doing a benefit for Puerto Rico in November www.rippleofhopeshow.com

57 comments:

  1. I feel such great empathy for you. I myself had almost the same experience as you. Was bullied and abused by my Principal, Mr. Rux and AP Yard , for years until I was forced into ATR. I always felt alone in my experience, but thanks to you I no longer feel this way. May your story give a voice to ALL NYC teachers being abused and bullied into submission by their administration.

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  2. Most ATRs feel the same as Karen does - some have died from the stress. I take a lot of Xanax, Valium and sleeping pills. I used to go to the gym daily now I can hardly motivate myself to walk around the block. I've gained twenty pounds. Today I had a kid I never met before tell me he was going to 'snuff' (kill) me. I guess that word is making a comeback. I told him to go ahead I wear cologne. He then cursed me out for no other reason than I asked him to sit down. Just another typical day as an ATR. Karen you are not alone. I will opt out of the UFT if there is any other union that may be formed.

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  3. A call to arms to support our union in the form of voluntary dues enables UNITY to continue to ignore teachers like Karen. This is why I am having such a hard time getting on board with a post Janus support of the UFT. What will motivate them to change their ways if they keep raking in our money? I have no easy answer but I can't accept the argument that a bad union is better than no union. This behavior of UFT leadership needs to change yet I don't see them even considering a change. Norm, you've been involved forever and have been fighting the good fight.... any addditional thoughts on this?????Roseanne McCosh

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  4. Don't forget when kids curse you out its your fault. Some teachers never get cursed out so it must be something you did to provoke the student. Isn't that right Ed notes guy?

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    Replies
    1. You said it so there must be some truth. Same school, same kids, same teachers. If all get cursed then something is wrong. If only you get cursed look in the mirror. Kids may just be detecting something.

      Delete
    2. Many get cursed out you self righteous tool. You are a legend in your own mind. Do me a favor, find a mirror an admire how much of a windbag you really are!!! Just read all the posts from the many blogs and you will see you senile old man that a lot of teachers are abused by the wonderful students. May God Bless you and thanks for honoring freedom of speech!

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  5. Blah blah blah. So stop reading old wind bags. I may charge you with age discrimination against old wind bags. I have every right to be a legend in my own mind. I taught in the worst neighborhoods for 30 years and wasn't cursed out.

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  6. I just read when I'm on the crapper. How did the mirror exercise go! You legend you. Things have changed since the early 90's my friend. Now go back and defend the doe policy of blaming teachers or did you forget already. You delusional liberals sue everyone. Maybe join the aclu,

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    1. I haven't changed since the early 90s -- you have. Tell me kids have cursed you since the early 90s and I pity you. Kids didn't curse me in the 90s. And if they did I didn't go around blaming all kids only the one or two who did it.
      I never defended the DOE Policy of blaming most teachers -- only people like you who whine about yourself all the time and only blame kids. You condemn all kids- never a nice word to say -- shame on you.

      Delete
    2. I know quite a few people in any number of licenses who are similarly abused merely for being senior teachers. My #@%&! principal systematically selects several senior people for destruction each year; some have retired early from a hospital bed to stop the relentless harassment that destroys their minds and bodies. Admin loves to strike anyone caring for a sick family member. We even watched while a perfectly good senior teacher was "cleared out" to make way for the child of a friend. Prin has the gall to scream at CL about these old people who need to go, those very same old people who make the school tick like a clock when the admin leaves them alone. CL is vocal but support vanishes when complaints go up the line within the UFT. I despise the administrative lapdogs more and more everyday; vastly disappointed with a union that has lost its way. Very concerned the next CL will be one of the lapdogs...

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  7. No ones blaming all the kids you need to really comprehend better. And no one said I've been cursed out since the early 90's. Did you read what I wrote. Man you are senile. Now go back and write some leftist crap and feel how great you are. Yeah you really know me . You talk the game about fighting for teachers and posts about dignity. Spend time as an atr and you'll see. And you of course not all schools but many this is what happens.
    Please take your seat.,,,fuck you
    Please start the assignment..fuck you
    Please put your phone away...fuck you
    Do you belong in this class. Fuck you whitey
    And the left wants to talk about racism. Stupid I see it everyday and it's the opposite.
    Yeah it's my fault you self righteous legend! Cant wait to read your next master piece while I'm doing my daily business. God bless you!

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  8. Of course your racism and hatred of the kids never shows. You must be disfigured from your hatred.
    I'd bet you were a lousy teacher before you were an ATR.

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  9. Once again right from the doe playbook you self righteous legend. You wouldn't last a week as an atr, that's right only bad teachers become atr's and you were great you senile out of touch hypocrite. Go to campus magnet, it August Martin and ask the students to sit down or if they belonged in the class they would tell you to shut the fuck up whitey and leave them alone. Nice try deflecting the blame on me. Just what the doe does. You can't blame the students or their parents. Now go look in the mirror and tell me what you see.

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    1. I was an ATR for a year and a half when I began teaching. I lasted 35 years in the system.
      Your comments reveal what you are - and everyone on the blogs who sees them knows that. I would tell you to shut the fuck up too.

      Delete
    2. Norm has been one of the major supporters of ATRS since there was such a category 12 years ago. He has given countless hours working with people who needed help. He doesn't like you or your comments which doesn't reflect on other ATRS Why don't you stop reading his blog if you are so upset?

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  10. Yeah I know norms the best! Blah blah blah. yeah an atr 35 yrs ago. Things have changed my friend. you really are my hero! My comments about asking kids nicely reflects on me? Are you delusional? Many of these kids are out of their minds. Not all but many! Spent 2 months at beach channel last year with kids running down the hall yelling fuck you to everyone, yelling my n i g and I'm the bad guy. Come people wake up! Spent 2 months at August martin with kids cursing at me because I asked them to do their assignment. Let's get real here folks. Yeah blame the teacher, they sense I'm a racist. These kids are so stoned they can't even spell their names. And I'm the bad guy. Liberals!

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    1. I know people in beach channel and I've been in there myself. Might it happen sometimes? Yes. But you make it seem like that's all that happens and all the kids are whacked. You have a problem in how you see kids and the world. I spent 4 years working with black high school kids on a basketball team in the heart of bklyn in the 90's. Rough kids but also a delight in so many ways. I never had a problem loading my car up with them and hanging out with them. Certainly gave me a wider view. Maybe your fear of them shows.

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  11. Notice who brought up skin color

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  12. Yeah it's all my fault norm. It must be the way I see packs of kids roaming the halls yelling my nig. It must be the way I see the kids by the dozens each period cut classes and hang out in the gym and play basketball or get stoned . must be the way I see kids when I ask them if they belong in class and they tell me fuck uou. It must be the way I fear kids that shows when they smoke weed in the stairwells. You really do recite the doe playbook. It' can't be the students, it can't be their parents, it can't be the admins, so the problem must be the teacher. If that's the case Im guilty. Liberalism is truly a mental disorder. God Bless you ed notes guy

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  13. You seem like a deccent sort , anonamous, and I'm sorry to hear you are having diffiuculties in your school. I myself taught for 30 years in tough schools, and did not have too much trouble by and large. I suspect you are a younger teacher somehow, and not a burned out "racist as was implied here.

    Things have certainly changed vis the shcool system in the last generation. Family structure has broken down, and the entertainment industry is replete with violence and graphic sexual imagery. Kids are impressionable and pick up on this. The absence of any sustained discussion on societal breakdown is revealing in itself. We used to write papers about the connections to violent, uncouth, imagery, and childhood behavior. Not anymore.

    I doubt you are a racist, but that smear is the hallmark of Saul Alinsky type communist propagandists. The preach unity but promote nihilism. you will know them by their language. "ridicule is man's most potent weapon." Alinsky

    lean on your faith. It will sustain you. God bless.

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    1. Thank you for the rational response and God Bless

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  14. I pass beach channel every day. There are thousands of kids in the school. You notice 2 dozen. That's the point. You see only the bad. Not one good word about all the others. Your narrow and negative view of kids is your problem. And you see color. That is hard to hide. Maybe go take acting lessons.

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  15. Dozens just cutting class and going to the gym. Dozens more cutting class and hiding in the cafe. Dozens more cutting class and roaming the halls. Dozens more cutting class and sneaking out the doors by the gym. Dozens more.... You get the idea my dilusional friend. Yeah it must be me and my narrow and negative view of students. Yeah I'm the bad guy for provoking the students to curse me out. Thanks for the conversation and good luck in your legendary retirement

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  16. What's amazing is you still can't bear to say one nice thing about any kids even if most of them don't do these things. And as if school administration plays no role in this happening. Even in my excellent public high school I went to when rules were lax a bunch of students would take advantage. So given multiple opportunities on multiple blogs where you haven't been banned you can't say one nice thing. I faced tough classes and kids in my early years but always saw they were a small group and never branded all kids esp of one color like you do.

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  17. You are getting desperate in your argument. This wasn't a discussion about the many good students in many of our schools. If you recall it was about another teacher getting abused by some students and the entire system. I realize how sensitive liberals can be when someone criticizes the behavior of some of the students but I never mentioned the skin color of the students. I think the wonderful liberal did and that speaks volumes. Enjoy your day and good try attempting to blame me and deflecting the issues of student behavior.

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    1. It was you who used the term "Whitey". In case you didn't notice that's a skin color. And also the term nigs which also means skin color.
      Fact is you don't even try to temper your comments - it is all an attack on the behavior of some students. Thus you come across - not only to me -- as racist and anti-student. That you don't get that is indicative that you behave that way in school.
      Now I ran as tight a ship with discipline as I felt I needed. I am not for kids running wild. I also believe there are ways for schools to address that issue but too many don't even try. Beach Channel has 5 high schools and some are considered fairly decent. I don't put the blame on your for the overall conditions - but I do think if you viewed kids in a different way it might help deal with some of this stuff. If every incident grates on you it leaves you in worse shape. Being an ATR is practically impossible to deal with some of this. I was an ATR for a year and a half, Kids went wild - but then I began to figure some stuff out -- I knew my main job was not to teach them but to keep order. SO i came up with some routines that seemed to work -- after a lot of trial and error, I would not accept the lack of dignity. I felt like shit until I began to gain some level of control. I bet not all classes are as you describe but if they are for you that is not just reality of the way things work in schools. There is always a decent class even in bad schools. And I know people in awful schools who manage to figure out how to work with kids in some way. I see ATRs post all over the place on FB and they have loads of complaints about a lot of things -- but nothing like your diatribes.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous, you strongly come across as a bitter, poison-filled person, and it's also obvious that the kids are reflecting that poison back on to you.

      Please Take you your toxicity away from here, and go steep in it under a rock someplace.

      Delete
    3. I'm sorry Mike what part of informing the readers of this blog the abuse some of us hard working Atrs experience. Blame the teacher for whatever reason you may in your infinite wisdom create is directly from the doe playbook. We are getting abused, many of us by the students and admins. If that's bitter I have a lot of company of these blogs. God bless you Mike!

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  18. Good luck Ed notes guy you are truly a legend. My work is done here! God Bless you!

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  19. No race was mentioned by me only the truth of being called whitey. Sorry that hurts your liberal feelings but it's the truth. But of course it's my fault. God bless you and thanks for all you do for the dignity of teachers.

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  20. Norm always turns everything into anti semitism or racism. Do you think he runs this blog to talk about educational issues. LOL!! Maybe one day his sycophantic followers (about 3) will figure out what he is really about. Most others have. Even a fool has a sense of smell.

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    1. So which are you? Antisemitic or racist. Or is it both. And you are apparently still one of the 2000 a day that reads my trash. Sad.

      Delete
    2. I would like to stand up and be counted as one of the three proud readers.

      Abigail Shure

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    3. I don't agree 100% with Norm's politics but I respect his willingness to fight for what he believes in. I'm with Abigail....proud to be a reader of Norm's blog. Roseanne McCosh

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  21. From the commie propagandist.

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  22. Yeah it helps me on the crapper you self righteous tool. The playbook of the liberal. When losing an argument call the person a racist. I credit you with throwing in antisemitic. Good try Ed notes guy now go back and look in the mirror.

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  23. Commies are all the same. Big mouths, but they're all afraid of the dark.

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  24. Tell your 2000 readers why you hate white Christians so much communist

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    Replies
    1. I hate racists and right wingnuts like you. Your views are those of white supremacists but certainly not Christian. And behind your comments are branding a Jew a communist etc. You must be very constipated on your crapper.

      Delete
  25. Anon 10:AM -- I don't give creds to this guy being decent. I was called whitey a few times but never harped on it like this guy. Everything that he says happened to him happens at some point to many teachers but they don't go posting comments like these on every blog and logging every incident of a black kid committing a crime. and arguing for doing exactly what to kids who call a teacher a name? He's a right wing racist. How far is he from saying seig heil to anyone who wants race purity?

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  26. God bless you Ed notes guy. You lost the argument and had resorted to calling hard working teachers who get abused by some of the students ( you used black not me) racists and nazis. Even the loathsome doe doesn't use those terms to label us. Wow it says a lot about what's going on in that senile brain of yours. It's sad you needed to use the liberal playbook of calling the person your losing the argument too a racist and nazi. Enjoy your Saturday and believe it or not I appreciate the hard work you do for Atrs.

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    1. You keep promising to go but you can't seem to leave this senile blog. You are a teacher working to spread hate. It's all about you and your travails with students. Not one hint of sympatico about the lives of these kids. How much do you make a year. I bet 100 grand. Where do you go home to live? Do you ever think of where these kids live or what their lives are like or you just don't give a shit because you were callled whitey or cursed at. Oh my what a sensitive snow flake.

      Delete
    2. You just laid out the total racist agenda. What's next. Out them in cattle cars?

      Delete
  27. Thanks Ed let me know if you need a ride to the psychiatrist office. I'm available.

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  28. Hey you're the one exhibiting shell shock from having to face the enemy - your students. Soon you-ll be putting in for a Purple Heart

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  29. Good try Ed notes guy. You must be getting tired trying to justify their unacceptable behavior. But at the end of the day it's eaier to blame me and white oppression than it is to take responsibility for their unacceptable behavior. Being the victim of preceived social injustice is much easier than actually staying in school, obeying the law, and commiting your life to become self sufficient. Why bother when they have an intellectual legend like you to make excuses for them. It's guys like me who are the problem not cuttng school, smoking weed, not waiting for marriage to have children, breaking the law and all the rest of the actions that limit their success in the future. I got it my friend. It's the racist fault you can't get a good job, it's the racist fault you can't pass the class, it's the racist fault you can't own your own home. It's the racist fault you don't have money in the bank or a marketable skill. Well played! Well played!

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    1. You choose to focus on abuse by children when most ATRS focus on abuse by supervisors which is a much bigger issue. Fact is children get away with this due to bad administrators. You say Farins blames you -- it is the principals who execute that policy.
      Refusal to enforce is the problem in some of these schools. When many teachers in the same school complain we know where there is smoke there is fire. When one person complains who knows where the fault lies.
      So is it possible your negative attitude towards kids incite some of them? That you have a rep? Kids do talk. Take a shot at kindness to one of these tormentors. Or try to talk to kids before issuing orders.

      Delete
    2. I agree with your first point. School admins are afraid to crack down on this behavior because they are afraid of a confrontation with the students and being called a racist. You know when you point out bad behavior of a student who may be of a different ethnicity than you your immediately called a racist. I don't have 35yrs in as the legend Ed notes has but in my 25yrs in a Brooklyn high school I've seen a lot of good teachers cursed at and when they complain they become the bad guy. It's a system that's upside down. But good try in your subtle way to put the blame on my teaching techniques instead of where it truly belongs. Spend a week in August martin as an atr and will see what wonderful names your called. God Bless

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  30. There's no better reporter on Atrs than Chaz. He calls them as he sees them on good and bad schools. do you ever go to a decent school where you are not cursed and race baited? By the way do I count you as one of my 3 readers?

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  31. Now we can have a productive conversation. I've taught for over 17yrs in a really challenging high school until it closed a few years ago. In those 17yrs I was cursed out a few times a year but as a permanent teacher I was able to build relationships with the students and gain mutual understanding and trust. In the last few years as an atr those opportunities to gain mutual understanding and trust are nonexistent due to the constant rotation system, unwillingness of most admins to enforce basic behavior codes, and the doe changing the behavior code and suspension protocols. You know the new system of student circles. In my 5 plus years as an atr I've rotated into almost every queens high school, sorry to say most are very challenging for all teachers especially Atrs. A few are good and a few are decent but most are bad. The good ones are mostly in Long Island city which for most Atrs is a nightmare to get too and find parking. But at least the school are somewhat good. The very challenging schools are in thecrockaways, flushing, August martin, campus magnet, the old Springfield gardens and beach channel. Of course these schools have multiple schools and as Atrs most of us are constantly sent to the bad ones. I could write a book about my exoeriences and after almost 23 yrs in I'm just trying to survive. To call me a racist and a nazi is beneath a person of your experience and intelligence. We of course get rotated to Francis Lewis, Edison, Aviation and the rest but they are like an oasis in the desert. Some would say if your bitter and angry why don't you just leave. With 2 kids and a mortgage it's easier said than done. Imagine 17yrs in one school where you taught, coached, mentored new teachers and was well respected and now your getting cursed out daily. Talk about lose of dignity! I'm not the only one going through this but believe it or not the many educational blogs help. (Even yours and especially Chaz and James) it's somewhat comforting to know people are out there fighting to change this mess. Yes we vent, yes we sometimes only focus on the negatives but that's the place we are in. God Bless

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    1. Now we're talking. At least we know there have been some positives in your experience. I'm very touchy when people only attack kids. I get how tough the Atr exp is. Esp in high schools. Comment with lists of schools like you do here. We know people in some of these schools who you can touch base with to give you some help. Jeff Kaufman at qirt in far Rock is a fab guy to see. Let's see if things can be a bit better for you.

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    2. Thanks Ed I will try alittle less negative and attempt to focus on the small amount of positives. Just to let you know i wasnt trying to attack any one group of students but trying to give the reader my honest experiences as an atr. By describing the actions of some not all of the students I thought it might enlighten some to our plight. But honestly many have no idea what's really going on in a significant number of queens high schools. It's pretty unsettling going into these schools. Ive been to most of them so for me I know where to park and the school tone and it's gotten easier. But the things I've seen and the behavior I've witnessed is unbelievable. To be fair international high school in Long Island city has a great group of students, staff and admins. It's the school next to James E school. Also newcomers is pretty good. I better stop before I only talk about the positives. Lol

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    3. Do I have to send you a bill for therapy? actually I think it can't hurt to think a little positive. In my first year when I was an ATR and getting killed - by 3rd graders -- the guidance counselor gave me some advice. No matter how bad the kid seems try to find something positive. And that served me well. One of my most difficult kids in the first 6 weeks of school - ended up serving 2 terms in prison -- used to call me from there sometimes -- was someone I found something positive - accidentally - and told his mom instead of slamming him. His attitude changed and we became real pals that year -- used to come up to see me and he straightened his life out and we are FB friends. That school year could have been a disaster if I didn't change my attitude towards him. Now I know this doesn't apply to your situation but just wanted to share.

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    4. Thanks Ed the checks in the mail

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  32. Roseanne. I don't agree with much of my politics which seems to change every day. The righties bring out the lefty in me and the lefties bring out the righty in me. I push back on elements of identity politics but the other side of the coin is not acceptable either.

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  33. 3:58,

    I finally got out of the rat race. I have spent the last four months trying to calm down. I taught elementary so it was no where near as stressful as your experience. I was the Newark equivalent of an ATR for three nonconsecutive years. The disrespect was often unbearable. It is very hard to maintain one's sense of self under these circumstances.

    Abigail Shure

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