Chap. 80: ATR, Pt. 1: Frequently Asked QuestionsAs a member of the vast and growing ATR pool as of June 6, 2013, I thought I'd dream up some frequently asked questions as well as some less frequently given answers. So here goes ....
FAQ: What's the first thing I should do when I'm "excessed"?
A: This one is easy. Now that you're homeless, you need a theme song. Here's mine:
FAQ: What are the words to that song?
A: Here they are: Lyrics to Ramblin' Bill
FAQ: Did you pick this song because it's about homelessness and that's how you feel as an ATR?
FAQ: But aren't you going to change the words to suit the ATR situation?
A: Good idea. Some verses need no embellishment, like the first. They describe the ATR life nicely. Others just need tweaked here and there:
Sleep all day and I ramble all night
I love to go because I think that goin' is right.
Just old ramblin' Dave, just old ramblin' Dave.
Some day I may get appointed and I might settle down.
I ain't got no school. I'm here all alone.
All the lesson plans I got, boys, I go them on.
I been all around from school to school.
Because the DOE is playin' me for a fool.
I'm just like a DOE consultant, carry nothin' but my hat.
I play principals where I find 'em and I leave them where I find them at.
Book bag is my pillow. Subway keeps me warm.
Bronx sky's my blanket. District 9 builds my home.
FAQ: What exactly does "excessed" mean?
A: "Excessed" isn't a word.
FAQ: But the DOE uses it all the time.
A: That's not a FAQ.
FAQ: Sorry. Doesn't the DOE use "excessed" all the time?
A: They also call closing schools "reform".
FAQ: Is "excessed" gibberish or gobbledygook?
A: Gobbledygook. The word doesn't exist except in the Urban DOE Dictionary where it means "exiled to educational purgatory". So don't worry when your word processor refuses to recognize it.
FAQ: What does a "letter of excess" look like?
A: Like this: Letter of Excess
FAQ: Why does it say at the top that you were excessed from a "non-closing" school? Weren't you excessed from a closing school?
A: Maybe a school that is merely being "phased out" doesn't fall under the DOE definition of "closing." Or maybe they can't be bothered to use an accurate form.
FAQ: Can you sue to get your job back since your excess letter isn't accurate?
A: I'll look into it.
FAQ: Why were you excessed?
A: You may be asking me to break some sacred Danielson rules about not drawing inferences and being completely objective and nonjudgmental.
FAQ: Isn't it good to draw inferences?
A: Of course.
FAQ: So why were you excessed?
A: As you can see from that letter, I was excessed from Jonathan Levin H.S. in the Taft Building. Blame is usually placed on the budget but here's how it broke down last month at that school. The principal kept the following numbers of teachers by department:
1 EnglishFAQ: Are you an English teacher?
FAQ: Why do you think he only kept 1 English teacher?
A: All I know is that of the 3 English teachers there, one had less seniority than I had so to get rid of me, he had to get rid of 2 of us.
FAQ: Why did the principal want to get rid of you?
A: There you go asking me to draw conclusions again.
FAQ: Well, why?
A: I can only refer you to chapters 35, 36, 38, 42, 44, 53, 62 and others in this blog.
FAQ: Is it true that they send ATRs to a different school each week?
A: Is anything true in the NYC DOE?
FAQ: Does ATR stand for "another teacher remanded"?
FAQ: What should I do next?
A: Repent and see if they'll let you out of educational purgatory.
FAQ: You mean try to get a job?
A: Oh, right.
FAQ: Should I dig out my resume?
FAQ: What should be in my resume?
A: Poems, short stories - no novels - mug shot, blogs, favorite movie, snapshot of laundry room, taste in Italian food, Facebook status, reasons for wanting out of the DOE. Here's mine:
Current Status:: Excessed / ATR
“U” rated for the 2012-13 school year by Nasib Hoxha at the failed and closing Jonathan Levin High School - Under Appeal as of summer / fall 2013
To view the daft documents used to describe my teaching as “unsatisfactory,” click here:
Observing the Observer
Observing the Observer 2
Creative Project: Co-creator along with Zawadi Noel of the cartoon strip Therapy Dog Tails.
Creative Objective: To bring amusement and understanding to the world (see website).
Teaching Objective: To teach high school students in an environment that promotes freedom of expression and values joyful creativity as well as analytical ability.
Qualifications: Experience in all levels of high school English Language Arts, 9th – 12th
Four years of NYC Ramp Up teaching, 9th grade
Ramp Up training, spring, summer 2004, Martin Luther King H.S.
Five years of Regents Prep courses, 11th grade
Familiarity with Danielson, Common Core Standards, ARIS, Easy Grade Pro, Sonar, iMovie, GarageBand, and MORE!
For discussions of Danielson rubrics written by me, see:
The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Husband
The Charlotte Danielson Rubric for the Highly Effective Pick-Up Artist
Experience: Sept. 2004 – June 2013: Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications Taft Campus, 172nd St., Bronx), ELA, 9th – 12th
Oct. 2001 – Aug. 2004: Theodore Roosevelt High School, Fordham Rd., Bronx, ELA, 9th – 10th
Sept. 1982 – Aug. 1988: Trevor Day School, E. 90th St., New York, ELA / Math, 6th – 8th
Sept. 1981 – Aug. 1982: American-Nicaraguan School, Managua, Nicaragua, ELA, 9th, 11th
Jan. 1980 – June 1981: University of Akron, Akron, OH, ESL
Sept. 1977 – Aug. 1979: King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, EFL
Extra-Curricular: 2006 - 2012: Producer / Organizer of the Jonathan Levin Poetry Café, a school-wide song and poetry performance produced annually
2002 – 2003 / 2008 – 2009: Participation in Lehman College Writing Initiative, Susannah Thompson, high school coordinator
Sept. 2004 – June 2007: Coordinator Community Service Program, Jonathan Levin H.S., high school students mentoring elementary students at P.S. 64X, Bronx
1987 - 1988: Founder/ coordinator school newspaper, Trevor Day School
1977 – 1979: Founder / Player / Coach, King Faisal University Basketball team
Awards: Teacher of the Year, 1987 – 1988, Trevor Day School, E. 90th St., New York
Non-Teaching Experience: April 1990 – Oct. 2001: Owner / Partner in Zyloral Co., vitamin sales / holistic Health / nutrition / herbal supplements
Education: Secondary Certification Program, University of Akron, 1980 – 1981
M.A. University of Illinois, Chicago, 1978
B.A. University of Illinois, Chicago, 1974
References available upon request (probably not from my last principal).
FAQ: Shouldn't a resume look neater than that?
A: DOE bureaucrats are used to shoddy, ungrammatical documents with numerous spelling and punctuation errors. They run all their memos now through mis-spell check. This is software developed by Joel Klein exclusively for the DOE to ensure plenty of typos, gaffes, malaprops and misstatements of fact.
FAQ: What are you saying?
A: Give them what they like - poorly formatted, inaccuracies, and so forth. They respect that.
FAQ: What's Ramp Up?
A: A remedial reading program, now obsolete as common core soon will be. A few years ago the DOE gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a bunch of Aussies for it.
FAQ: What's an Aussie?
A: Somebody who knows how to take the DOE for all it's worth.
FAQ: Should you be revealing all that personal information in a blog?
A: Not according to Edward Snowden.
FAQ: So why are you doing it?
A: Because I'm in educational purgatory.
FAQ: Do you recommend that others follow your example?
A: Are you crazy?