ATRs, the unrepresented -- no elected representatives in the UFT

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

“Here We Go Again!”

An ATR returns to page 1.
“Here We Go Again!” – In which the former ATR is no longer a former ATR, but an ATR, not former, but for a second time and, OH, HECK, I’m back in the soup.

You know those kids’ picture books where you give a mouse a cookie, or you give a pig a pancake, and you go on this long convoluted journey only to end up back on page one when you get to the last page? Yeah, I kinda feel like one of those characters. You see, friends. I am back in the ATR stew.

Funny how this came about. I had a roller coaster of a year last year – I was in a school that was completely out of control and was assaulted and sent to the hospital. Over the summer, I had no idea what was waiting for me come September, as I had heard nothing about being moved to another school and had yet to hear the result of my transfer request.

As the summer wound down, I was focused on squeezing every bit of goodness and family time out of what remained of the season. Almost daily visits to the pool, summer outdoor concerts, cocktails on my backyard patio with friends, and barbecues kept the trepidation at bay and I made a firm commitment to not worry about things that hadn’t happened yet.

So imagine my surprise when my husband tells me that he checked the house answering machine and said that there was a call from a principal asking me for an interview. I was completely puzzled, as Open Market had closed and I had not found any vacancies on it that I found suitable, and therefore had not applied for any interviews. Anywhere. But, not one to mess with fate, I returned the call.

The principal was very nice, and we spoke for a few minutes before I asked how he came to call me, as I didn’t recall applying to his school. He said, “I got your name from the excess list.”

WHAT??? “Excuse me?” I said, “Excess list? Like ATR?”

After a few moments, I found out that I had been allegedly been placed in excess at the end of the school year. Sure enough, I logged on to the Excess Staff Selection System, and there I was. In excess.

To this day, I have received no formal, written notice that I am in excess. I have heard nothing from my former principal, and all my belongings are still, as far as I know, in my old school. Requests to reclaim my belongings have been ignored – and my union has been little help in assisting me in getting my property back.

The question lingers – what if we had ignored the house answering machine, as we tend to do as we favor our cell phones and the land line is used mainly by the kids? What if this principal had never called me and I never found out I was in excess? Am I really in excess? I got an assignment on the system, but I have no hard paperwork explaining how I came to be here. Would my no-show on the first day been my first instance of “problematic behavior”?

Why does this bother me?



  1. They have to give you proper notice, can't happen after 15 days into the term. It has to be in writing and signed (by you). Go the union and file a grievance immediately. Total bullshit, the union should be all over this. Good luck.

  2. The union, including the district rep, are not returning my calls or emails. Neither regarding my over fifteen years of teaching materials, nor the issue of being exxessed without notice.

  3. The Principal is supposed to tell you that on the last day of school.

  4. Wow!! I can believe it. Rule is that you were supposed to be notified prior to the last day of school. I sounds as if you were out due to being assaulted at the school. I don't know what thats about but its an entirely different conversation. Anyway, I find that sometimes when the administration feels that you are a problem they tend to bring you a problem. And they could care less about you and your livelihood.