Sunday, April 25, 2010

Whine Alert.....Whine Alert.......


In this post, I will complain about my part-time online teaching job AGAIN, the job that I don't really need but keep signing up for again and again.

Disclaimer disclaimer:

I'm NOT teaching summer school this year, though, so thank you to those readers who stepped in to remind me just like I asked.

The complaint:

This will come as a shock to some of you, but I am for the most part a rule follower. Even when I don't agree with an edict, I try to follow it. It helps if I get an explanation of WHY we do something a particular way, but nevertheless I try to follow the rules.

We have experienced a great deal of turnover in the last year, which only complicates matters. I think the changes are for the better, but still, change is change.

One thing we have heard ad nauseum is that we cannot be away from our online classes more than 24 hours, excluding weekends. I don't disagree with this policy, although I'm pretty sure some people push the envelope sometimes. Really, if I'm going to be on a bike ride on a Friday and don't log in all day, I feel pretty confident that I can catch up over the weekend and not have my students suffer. If something urgent comes up, I always have my cell phone with me, and I have stopped my bicycle before to resolve a student's problem.

This policy even worked to my benefit this semester, as I served as a substitute teacher while one of my co-workers had knee replacement surgery. It wasn't very stressful, and I didn't really have to do a whole lot of work. I'm sure it gave my co-worker a sense of relief that she didn't have to worry about grading papers while under the influence of painkillers. Although her students might have appreciated it. Comma splices aren't nearly so egregious to an English teacher when she's on morphine.

I promise I'm getting to the part that DOES bother me.

One day I was "impersonating" one of my online students to see if he had done any work in his other course, because he hadn't turned in anything at all for me. I promise this isn't snooping; we are actually required to impersonate our students every two weeks to make sure they aren't using the online tools for socializing or, in some cases, semi-stalking one another.

The first thing that comes up on any of our course homepages is a news announcement. When I opened this student's science class, the first thing I saw was an announcement saying something along the lines of "I am on spring break this week. I will not be grading assignments, and I will not be answering emails."

What the hell? On what level does he consider this proper? The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. I even reached the spiteful point, when I went back into the student's course with the intention of taking a screen shot of that announcement and passing it along to someone in administration.

It was gone. Smart man that he is, he had deleted the news announcement after his week off.

But that isn't even what irks me most of all.

This week we get a congratulatory news announcement welcoming that very teacher to one of the few, coveted, precious, ADMINISTRATIVE, full-time online positions.

I'm going to have a hard time following any instructions from him. I'm just sayin'.......


Maggie said...

Why is it that those of use who play by the rules repeatedly get screwed over and the rules breakers are rewarded?

Anonymous said...

that is irritating! Rule breakers suck!

Julie said...

There's always a whole different set of rules for the administrators. That particularly hard life lesson has been put in my face over and over again, most often on Mondays.