Non Parlo Italiano But I Will Teach It

In case you missed it,  I won my 3020-a termination hearing and wasn’t terminated.  Instead I was fined $10,000 that the DOE began taking out of my paycheck immediately.  About $300 a pay period.

Arbitrator Felice Busto stated that I should be returned to my classroom.  Violating the contract,  the DOE had other plans.  They were going to send me from school to school as an ATR,  so I can teach and push unionism across all of Staten Island.  There is nothing in the contract that says they can grab you from a school and make you an ATR. You have to be excessed or if your school closes.

I had a Step 2 grievance at the Chancellor’s level. Marcel Kshensky, the Chancellor’s rep, had the audacity to say “… but the contract doesn’t say they can’t do that, right”

They also violated the contractual limits as David Brodsky, Karen Solimando and Marcel Kshensky have not responded in a timely fashion. More on that in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, I’m at a middle school on Staten Island. I spent yesterday and today helping teachers set up their technology in their rooms. Before the day was over I found that I too will have a room for an undisclosed amount of time. I quickly got to work on a barren room with a small Smartboard.

What will I be teaching you ask

6th grade science, 6th grade health and 7th and 8th grade Italian. As a Greek-Italian I’m embarrassed to say I don’t speak Italian. I’ll do my best though.

I’m going to email the admin and ask if there is anything they can do, only because it is not fair to the students. I may have to grieve as this appears to violate Article 7 and needs documentation. No offense to the admin, but I don’t want history to repeat itself.

Article 7 states

Program Guidelines
Wherever administratively possible, teacher programs should follow these guidelines:
e. The number of lesson preparations should be kept at the minimum consistent with the nature of the subject, the size of the department, the special offerings of the department, and special requests of teachers. Classes for gifted, bright, average and difficult pupils should be considered as separate preparations. Within a department, teachers with a full teaching program should be given preference in the assignment of the number of preparations.”

In other words, my having to prepare and assess for several subjects across several grades is bad for students. I understand if there is no other way, but that’s what I need to inquire about.

ATRs need to be vocal and vigilant. The UFT needs to hold borough meetings very soon.

In the meantime…


Hopefully during health I won’t be required to teach about sexual reproductive organs. If I do be certain I’ll somehow be sent to educator exile again. One teacher was sent because a picture of a naked mole rat came up on his screen during a perception lesson or something.

About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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  1. they tols us today in the UFT meeting that a lot of teachers are assigned out of license. and I loudly replied: “It’s like being a dentist and twice a month you are assigned to be a gynecologist.”

  2. This is the kind of action by the DOE that really annoys me. They always claim to be there for the students and yet, in my 7 years in this system, I’ve seen no indication that this is indeed the case. You should give the kids an Italian-English dictionary and have them teach it to themselves. That would be totally student centered, which is 4’s across the board in the Danielson Framework.

  3. I’m sitting in a ESL class with kids that speak Creole, Russian, Chinese, one Mandarin one Cantonese and of a kid from Tibet. Now the kicker I teach history#

  4. It’s “Non parlo italiano”, not “no” parlo italiano.

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  6. Pingback: Unsatisfactory Teacher Part 2- Field Supervisor Edele Williams Takes a Swing - Educator Fights Back

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