Saturday, October 26, 2013
Only "Newbies" May Apply! - School #4
I was at one of the new schools that opened up three years ago in Southwest Queens and was shocked how young the teachers were at this school. In some cases the teachers must wear their name tags across their necks so as not to be mistaken for a student. An ATR Assistant Principal who was assigned to the school found that only two of the 30 teachers actually were tenured!
The school is semi-screened and has a very diverse student population with Hispanic, White, and Asian students. There are a sprinkling of Black students who travel from outside the area to the school. The school is strong on Latin and the Arts and accept students willing to take four years of Latin and Arts. This reduces the electives in the school for students who would like to take let's say Computer Science? This is another school that originally did not give Earth Science and required all the students to jump from Living Environment to Chemistry. Just like school #3 the administration believes "if you reach for the stars. you will succeed". However, they forget to build a spaceship to travel there.
The students are well-behaved and friendly. They were a pleasure to cover, unlike my previous school. There is ample parking near the school and while the "Leadership Academy Principal" was not friendly, the payroll Secretary was nice. The young and inexperienced staff was expected to volunteer their time, "free of charge", for after school programs such as tutoring or clubs. There is no Chapter Leader at the school since the staff is afraid of the Principal and nobody wants the position. There are stories that teachers who requested "per session" for additional assignments were "discontinued" in the last two years. That discourages teachers from demanding their rights. Therefore, the Principal reduces the school's grade by a full letter.
I was with three other ATRs, an ATR Assistant Principal, Social worker, and Guidance counselor. All were over 50 years of age. In my travels through four schools all the ATRs I met were over 45 years old. Yes, Amy Arundell, there certainly is age discrimination going on here. There were no hidden vacancies that I heard about at the school and the Physics teacher is now teaching Earth Science. Boy it sounds like School #3 in that respect.
The school is well run, the students follow the rules and are respectful, and the classes are small with no more than 25 students in each class. Would I like a position there! You bet I would, except I am tenured, experienced, over 30 years old, and would demand my rights to be paid for extra work. Therefore, applying for a position at the school is a waste of time.