Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The NYCTF Recruitment [Soon-to-be] Scandal

I'm trying to be cheerful this week. It's a 3-day week, after all, and those of us traveling are looking at mild weather for the journey out on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. I'm pretty caught-up on my grading and I might be able to take the long weekend off--woohoo! Even our new ATR was jovial this morning. (I really like this guy, by the way. I hope he gets hired somewhere. He seems to have a good way with the kids, tons of experience, and a great sense of humor. Good luck, This Week's ATR! I do know his name, but you know, anonymity and all.)

And I could have persisted, too, if it hadn't been for those meddlesome kids the marketing department over at the Teaching Fellows program. You see, I got an e-mail this evening asking me to recruit my friends for the June 2012 cohort of Teaching Fellows, promising me a handsome reward if I could recruit the greatest number people I allegedly love and care about into teaching in the New York City schools. I'm completely serious. This is a contest.

Look, NYCTF, I try not to be too hard on you. You started me off a new career that I love (most of the time). Your hiring policies are set by the people higher up the food chain. You don't set policy, you carry it out. I understand that. But this recruiting business strikes me as foolish, counterproductive, and, dare I say it, tone-deaf.

I mean, if you need a bulleted list of the inconsistencies, here's a list:
  • The City continues to maintain a pool of ATRs, many of whom, it seems, would like to still be teaching full-time;

  • The City can't afford even $150 in Teacher's Choice money for us, but apparently it can afford a pool of new employees;

  • The City is, for the highly qualified NYCTF applicants it apparently needs, encouraging its current employees to cast wide nets and get any warm bodies among their acquaintances to fill out an application for what I thought was a highly selective program.
Like I said, I'm trying not to be too negative here. This is probably just a drop in the bucket of terms of cost and boneheadedness. So maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Maybe I'm just excited that, two school days before Thanksgiving, I have any energy for even mild outrage.

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