Back to School with a New Position -Ambassador Teacher on Rotation

Ambassador Teacher

Back to School… I can’t wait! No Sarcasm. I’m seriously eager to start teaching again.

I took some time off from blogging and attempted to spend more quality time with family this summer. Aside from a short trip to Jamaica, for my sister’s wedding, and a road trip to Maine, the backyard was our summer hot-spot. We probably used our small yard more these last two months than we did the last ten years combined. This is not to say that while my two little boys were causing chaos I was not on social media attempting to keep my finger on the pulse of edu-news with coffee and/or drink on the patio table. “There’s no vacation from the fight for public education!” I always said (at least for thelast two years when I was made aware there was a fight to be fought).

If you remember, I spent over two years in educatorexile and was afforded six hours and fifty minutes to think. Dangerous! Even as I was assigned trivial work like moving boxes (see below) my gears were still moving rapidly.

The very last job I performed in the Rubber Room. Moving copy paper.

The very last job I performed in the Rubber Room. Moving copy paper.

Around May 2, 2014 I received my 3020-a decision and ordered back to class. Finally! Two-thirds of my charges were dismissed and the one-thirdthat were sustained were ridiculous. (They are all explained here) My almost 7 hours of free thinking were now cut to 45 minute lunch periods. I had to get into the swing of things while the UFT was all a buzz about the new contract. I loved getting back to teaching, but May and June were crazy with teaching (which was awesome) and working on the new contract. I really feel as though I missed a thousand emails and voicemails. I’m sorry, but if you emailed or called me and I don’t respond, please try again.

In any case, in July I finally finished my Leadership in Education program from the College of Staten Island. I managed to shadow an assistant principal during a summer school program. I tried being hush-hush about it, because I did not want one of these incompetent and angry DOE directors or lawyers interfering. Considering all their failed attempts to get me, I wouldn’t put it past them.

I feel I have so much to share. If you remember I had a gag order and could not share details of my hearing until it was over. Aside from the charges, the 3,600+ pages of transcripts and evidence is chock full of good stuff to share. By good, I actually mean bad like lies under oath. Things like the DOE witnesses working more for me than for their case. Side things that happened with the public who came to fill the hearing room etc. I will try to share sporadically as I have time in between more current issues.

Speaking of current issues, I have stepped down from being on the steering committee of the MORE (Movement of Rank-and-file Educators to allocate more time to other ventures. I’m still a member, but with only 24 hrs in my day I found myself spread too thin. In turn, I have increased involvement to a great cause called DTOE. That is where my passion lies.

Don’t Tread on Educators ( is a group I started. It’s not a caucus within the UFT, but rather a growing group of educators who are not going to lie there and let their careers be destroyed without a fight. We started with small meetings, sometimes in the basement of churches, but now have about 300 members on Facebook and about 90 members on our active email list. Check that site out for our latest work and be sure to subscribe there too.

Anyway, I digress. In the upcoming postsI will fill you in on some interesting news revolving around my former principal Linda Hill and the900 day investigationagainst her, my Federal lawsuit, my grievance to not be an ATR (wait until you hear what was said by the Office of Labor Relations employees during my Step 2 Grievance.), my battle with astro-turf parent groups and attack on tenure etc.

Stay tuned, but for now check out this email I received from the DOE on Friday. Looks like they accepted me for a brand new position this school year. Ambassador Teacher on Rotation. Like I said before, I can’t wait.

Ambassador Teacher on Rotation

Ambassador Teacher on Rotation

Pretty interesting. It almost sounds just like thejob description of theAbsent Teacher Reserve except this sounds more noble and not degrading. I gladly accept. I have my positive energy and all my shirts and suits pressed.

I applied to twenty positions and was not called in to any other interviews.

Oh, and to the DOE people who think they are going to barrel roll through my ATR colleagues with frivolous and trumped up charges, as was insinuated in today’s NY Daily News (Carmen Farina Vows To Drain ATR Pool By Having Principals Target ATR’s), think again. The ATR group is more organized than you think and we are documenting everything that happens, by who and where.


Tread lightly…and have a nice day!


About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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  1. Wow this sound great. I regret not applying. Does this mean you are no longer in the ATR poo!

  2. Claudia Bienenfeld

    You are correct when you write, quote, It almost sounds just like the job description of the Absent Teacher Reserve, end quote. (This system will not take quotation marks.) But the special title and the glorification aspect makes me think the DOE is gaming you. Is there any real difference between ATR and Ambassador TR

  3. The letter is brilliant. A few years ago Mark Epstein had a Huffington Post piece about how ATRs were like samurai, warriors without masters. This ambassador variation is great on the title is great.

  4. You need a theme song for your need position.
    How about Willie Nelson’s On the Road again. Much like Hail to the Chief they can play it when you enter a building.

    Have a good school year and watch your back

  5. Stay Strong. Your fight is important.

  6. Francesco, you are my hero … you have prevailed and given hope to many who are now going thru 3020-a hearings. This fight must continue. And yeah I like that … Ambassador Teachers on Rotation …. changes the whole feel!!!

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