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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Coming Doom For Absent Teacher Reservists (ATRs)

Charlotte Danielson

We know that the UFT is not including ATRs in any negotiating. ATRs, Absent Teacher Reservists (my word) are not being protected from abuse and wrongful ratings by Field Supervisors, Peer Validators, and Principals who just want to get rid of tenured employees tainted by 3020-a charges or a school's closing.

By the way, for all those readers who don't know me, I have been an advocate for employees of the Department for 14 years, and I am not an Attorney, but work with 4-5 attorneys as a paralegal. I fight for a person's lawfully given rights which, as we all know, are denied by the Department constantly. What I would like to make clear is that when I say an ATR is a "substitute", I do NOT mean anything degrading by this, so I apologize for any miscommunication. I'm at a loss at what title to call ATRs, who have been put into an impossible situation. I just want to make clear that any reference to a "substitute" for a person who is an ATR just means I am looking for a better title, but I'm on your side, always have been and always will be.

As I said in my previous post, the 2017-2018 school year promises to be a big mess for ATRs, who may be assigned to a position which has not been filled ( because no one wants it) by October 15, 2017. Then these tenured substitutes will be rated under the Danielson Rubric, where anyone, even the most brilliant of employees, can be rated "Developing" or "Ineffective" without any evidence proving their incompetence. As Charlotte Danielson says herself, the Danielson rubric was never supposed to be used for rating senior teachers, only to give new teachers some guidelines on good teaching techniques:

Prohibit The Department of Education Lawyers From Using The Danielson Rubric For Observation Reports and 3020-a Arbitration

So, an ATR in a year-long position can now be rated pursuant to the Danielson rubric and given a bad rating, and zoom! Before you know it, this ATR will be in a 3012-c hearing where termination is  almost always the end result. Why? Because the burden of proof is on the employee - Teacher, Guidance Counselor - to prove that he/she is not guilty of incompetence as opposed to a 3020-a where the Department has the burden of proof to show that you are guilty - and I dont think the Department is very good at that. We usually (but not always, darn it) win our cases.

That is how the NYC DOE solves problems they have created. Fire everybody, start over.

Anyway, see below the webpage for substitute teachers on the DOE site. This page is for non-tenured substitutes, not tenured employees, but employees may want to check this page out after they are terminated as ATRs.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Human Resources

Substitute/Per Diem Teachers

Currently Employed Substitutes

Substitute Teacher Nominations are Closed

The Nomination Process

Applications for Substitute Teaching positions are only made available to individuals who have been nominated by a school principal, using our online process. Each school may nominate candidates for the position based upon the prevailing or projected vacancies (i.e., number, location, schedule, etc.) and the special requirements for some positions (e.g., foreign language proficiency, math, science, certification in physical education, etc.). If you are interested in becoming a Substitute Teacher, contact the school(s) of your choice directly.

Responsibilities of the Substitute Teacher

Substitute Teachers are utilized by the New York City Public Schools, on an as-needed basis, to cover the classroom in the absence of the regular (fulltime) Teachers.  The primary role of the Substitute Teacher is to continue student learning along the continuum, established by the absent full-time teacher.  The responsibilities of the Substitute Teacher in the classroom may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Planning lessons
• Teaching students
• Managing the classroom
• Performing administrative tasks
• Promoting positive student behavior
• Ensuring the safety and security of the students

Pay Rate

Substitute Teachers, providing day-to-day service, are paid at the per diem contractual rate of $176.21 (as of May 2017), for the actual days worked; they do not receive any benefits.  Click, for more information about the Per Diem Payroll Frequently Asked Questions.

Substitute Teachers are represented by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

Eligibility Requirements

The minimum eligibility requirements to apply for a Substitute Teacher position are the following:

• Online Nomination by a school Principal
• A Bachelor's Degree
• Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking the English language
• Authorization to work in the USA

The Hiring Process

After a principal has completed the online nomination, an email will be sent to the nominee with instructions on accessing and completing the online application for the Substitute Teacher position.  Once the nominee submits the application, an email will be sent to the candidate listing the next steps necessary to work as a substitute teacher in New York City public schools. The first of these steps is to complete the mandatory Employment Forms, and any follow up requirements shown therein (e.g., fingerprinting).  The subsequent steps to be followed will differ, based upon the nominee’s New York State teacher certification status.

I.  If the nominee holds a valid New York State teaching certificate, he/she will be invited to attend an expedited processing event. At this Fast-Track processing event, the teacher nominee must present a valid government photo identification (i.e. passport, current non-expired driver’s license or state ID) and is required to submit the following:

• Original copy of a valid NYS teaching certificate (or a print-out from TEACH Online)
• $70 Money Order payable to the NYC Department of Education (processing fee)

II. If the nominee does not possess New York State certification as a teacher, he/she will be invited to attend a Combined Assessment & Processing event consisting of written & oral assessments to determine English language proficiency, and submission of required forms and documents.
At the nominee's scheduled event, he/she must present a valid government photo identification (i.e. passport, current non-expired driver’s license or state ID) and will be required to submit the following:

• Bachelor’s Degree diploma or official transcript indicating Bachelor’s Degree conferral date
• $100 Money Order payable to the NYC Department of Education (processing fee)
• Proof of completion for the NYSED approved workshop on Child Abuse Identification.
• Proof of completion for the NYSED approved workshop on School Violence Prevention.
• Proof of completion for the NYSED approved workshop on the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).
• Proof of completing the NYCDOE supported and authorized online training program for Substitute Teachers.  There is no additional fee for this online training program.   Information on this online training program will be disseminated at a later stage.
• Proof of creating an online profile with the New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives.  There is no additional fee for creating the online profile.
Upon successful completion of all the above requirements, the substitute teacher nominees, certified and uncertified, will receive information on the following, to be reviewed prior to their first teaching assignment:

• Handling Blood Borne Pathogens
• The NYCDOE’s absence management system (SubCentral) for Substitute Teachers


Subject to receiving clearance (fingerprint & appraisal of record) from the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Personnel Investigations, the nominee will be staffed as a Substitute Teacher and approved to serve throughout the New York City Public Schools, for the current school year.

Continuation of Substitute Status

To continue substitute status for the next school year, the substitute is required to fulfill the renewal requirements, which are updated annually, and can be accessed via the following link: Substitute Teacher Renewal Requirements

The renewal requirements include the following:

• Provide at least 20 days of service as a substitute teacher during the school year.
• Maintain a record of “Satisfactory” ratings from the schools worked in and be in good standing (as determined by the Office of Personnel Investigations).
• Substitute teachers who work in excess of 40 days and do not hold valid NYS Teacher certification, must also complete the following:

    Proof of Professional Teacher Education courses totaling at least 6 credits
    during that year or meet the maximum requirement of 21 credits.  
For additional information, write to or visit NYC Department of Education, Office of HR School Support, 65 Court Street, Room 504, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Click for information about Substitute Paraprofessionals.

Click for information about Full Time Teachers.