We are starting to hear horror stories about Absent Teacher Reserves being observed and even an ATR being rated unsatisfactory in the classroom. Many ATRs have little or no chance to succeed when they are teaching in an environment where students do not know them.
Is this practice widespread? Please let us know.
My suggestion is if the Department of Education insists on following the letter of the contract on observing ATRS, then ATRs need to do the same in return.
ATRs should insist in writing that they are given a lesson specific pre-observation conference before any formal observation. ATRs might also want to ask supervisors to model lessons for them. I am not talking about modeling teaching of an honors class but instead they should show us how to cover classes for absent teachers so that ATRs will get an idea about best practices from the "master teachers."
All of this might be particularly important when the weekly rotation of ATRs starts in October.