Can you hear that?
If you mute the television and shut off the dishwasher, you can probably hear the sound of teenage asses being kicked all over the state of Georgia.
Those would be the parents of my online students whom I had to call tonight.
You know, those calls I ABHOR? The ones I will actually avoid by balancing the checkbook and washing the dishes and possibly regrouting the tile in the bathroom?
I bit the bullet and made them tonight. I figured I may as well, since I was on a roll. I pissed off several of my regular students today and made two of them cry. That I know of.
For the four students with a zero average because they haven't submitted ANYTHING, I simply used the phrase "grade is currently failing." I wanted to say, "Tell me again why he/she signed up for this course?"
For the girl with an average of 2 because she thought (WTH???) that all she had to do was participate in discussions, I have had two conversations with her explaining how to listen to a recording of an online session (it's called "click a link") and one call from her mother asking about getting a tutor for literature. I'm not sure she understood that I don't actually work at her daughter's school.
For the young man with an average of 6, this was the third consecutive week I've called his house and spoken to his grandmother. Seems he's very smart, but he just doesn't do his work. Not a good sign in an online course. Apparently he's trying to drop this course. I hope he waits until after pay is calculated, since I deserve SOME compensation for having to call his house every stinkin' week.
The one I felt the worst about was the kid with a 44. He has already been switched to a later group, and he's still behind. He says he gets bogged down in discussion forums because he reads every single thing everyone else has posted and tries to come up with something that hasn't already been said. He also indicated on his student information form that he "forgets things...a lot." I'm guessing he forgets due dates, his course schedule, his checklist, and the address for logging in.
Experience has taught me that the rest of the semester will be much better for my having made those calls tonight.
But damn I hate being the bearer of bad news.