Saturday, November 16, 2013
Back To Business - School #7
I spent last week in a nice school that is of medium size and is located in Central Queens. The school is screened and is 90% Hispanic. Like many screened schools they do not have self-contained Special Education students or a significant amount of English Language Learners. There are no hidden vacancies but were trying to obtain a special education ATR to cover a recently reported vacancy until they hire a new teacher (newbie?) sometime in the future.
The school treats their ATRs with respect and were receptive to the ATR rights. The only issue was that ATRs were not allowed to park in their garage even when the ATR was covering an absent teacher who had an assigned parking spot! Not nice if you ask me. A definite case of disparate treatment.Therefore, parking on the street on Monday and Tuesday is an issue. Another negative is that the school has no Chapter Leader and nobody wants the responsibility. Another big negative is lack of a real gym or outdoor facilities for sports and no computers in the teacher's room. Finally, the school gets approximately 50 over the counter (OTC) students and they stand out like a sore thumb in this screened school. During my week there the other teachers were talking about problem students and it turns out that they were almost all OTC students placed in the school by the DOE.
While the school is screened its puzzling that they cannot attract White and East Asian students to the school considering what it's specialty is and the easy access to neighborhoods with large percentages of these two demographic groups but I wasn't there long enough to get that information. Like most schools the classes have rosters of 34 students and the undersized rooms are cramped which accounts for the higher than normal noise level in the classrooms. In some classes the teacher has to give up their chair and desk so that the student has a place to do their work. These classrooms should have no more than 25 students as far as I am concerned. Despite some of these disadvantage the students are generally well-behaved and respectful primarily because it is a screened school.
The school is a nice place to work in with a supportive administration and experienced teachers and if they gave me a parking space I definitely would take a position at the school.