Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mid Terms

Ah Midterms the time within the class that the panic starts to set in and students who haven't turned in half of their assignments come to the realization that their actions (or lack of action) will actually have consequences! Since it is midterm time the emails have began to pour in with the excuses about why they haven't done their work. The dog died, (enter family member) has been really sick, they are taking 18 credits, blah blah blah. This is typically followed by the pleas for what they can do to raise their grade.

My typical response? Do YOUR WORK!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Breaching the contract

This time my gripe isn't with the students, it is with the universities. More than once this month universities that I have signed contracts with, and completed work for, did not pay me on time. I find it unprofessional that an employer for whom I have completed all of my work on time and up to par is 5-7 days late paying me for my services.

One of the universities has yet to pay me for three weeks of work. I was supposed to be paid before Thanksgiving. I received an email on the payday stating that there was a "computer error" and that pay checks should be deposited the day after Thanksgiving. This would not be the end of the world IF it actually occurred. However it did not.

On a side note the "computer error" scenario presents several problems for me. 1. If you were supposed to mail checks out to people who should receive them on the pay date that means that you should have been aware at least three days prior to the pay date that there was a problem. 2. that this happened at all means that someone was not doing their job and did not catch the error.

As a result if payment has not been received for services rendered what options do I have? To not work in the classroom until I receive payment? To file a complaint with the labor board?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Not all snowflakes are deformed

I am reaching the end of my current class and I am vastly relieved that this batch of snowflakes are not half-melted when they got to me. The last class I taught was terrible. I seriously questioned whether or not I was teaching a special ed class and not a college course - I would bet at least half of them were borderline retarded. (So not PC I know).

This time I am pleasantly surprised that outside of the regular snowflakiness (i.e. begging to turn in late assignments, trying to haggle for that .1o of a grade, etc.) they are a reasonably intelligent group who is working hard. Which is good because the last class made me question my university and their admittance policy.

I am also starting to work at a new university for a trial class. My trial not theirs as I do not know if I like how they run their classes and the communication between the admin and the teachers is poor and so is the pay. However there is a possibility to get more classes at the same time here so I am hoping this is a good lead!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Does not pandering equal less classes?

This is something I have been considering. The last course I taught consisted of at least 20 students who were not prepaired for college level work. They did not know the basics of academic writing, often did not answer the questions in assignments (if they turned them in at all), and complained when I gave them the opportunity to redo assignments so they would not fail. Out of 22 students, only 2 got an "A", 5 failed, and the rest got C's. There are some who are of the school of thought that if students are failing it is the teachers fault, and there are others of the school of thought that students "earn" their grades.

I believe that I am a tough teacher. I have expectations of students which I clearly spell out in my Faculty expectations, and if a student does not meet these expecations then they will not pass the course. I do not think that my expecations are that high, they must cite their sources, both in disucssion assignments and written assignments, I do not accept late assignments, and I use a grading ruberic to grade papers which I provide to the students. Yet I find time and again that many times student cannot or will not meet these expecations.

I have found that my class offerings from the university I started at have been less and less. I find it hard to believe that there is no correlation between the low grades some students are getting in my class and this occurance. On one hand I wonder if I need to let up on some of my students. However I am hesitant to do so because I do not think it will do them justice in the long run. I also think that if the university lets so many students in who are not ready for college level work without remidial courses to bring them up to speed then it is "unfair" to penalize me with less work. (I have using the "F" word and sounding like one of my little snowflakes!) If my employeer has the word Univeristy in their name and not Community College then they need to hold standards accordingly.

What have others experiences been with this occurance?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thinking about certification

I am thinking about getting some kind of "certification". I have a degree in psychology, however due to unfortunate circumstancing involving my practicum supervisor and lung cancer I was not able to complete it and therefore am not eligible for state liscensure.

So I have been looking at becoming a Nationally Certified Psychologist. I have been reading about it at the North American Association of Masters in Psychology. The trouble I am running into is how do I determine if this is a legitimate certification or a pound of bologna?

Any suggestions or experience from anyone?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Would you like some cheese with your whine?

It is the last week of class and all of the students who haven't been working on their final paper as they should have are beginning to complain that they do not have enough time. My 'favorite' snowflake is a student who did turn in their rough draft, which I graded and made comments and suggestions on. This student wasn't on the right track so I pointed them in the right direction. This students response? To complain in the student chat section of the course room that they "hated" my class, I "tore their paper apart", and they didn't have time to rewrite the whole paper. They went on to state that they didn't think my class should be "this hard".

I find I have a hard time bringing up any pity for these types of whiners. How do others deal with these students who are under the delusion that your online class should be "easier" and that you are being "unfair" because you expect them to turn in college level work without bitch slapping them into the middle of next week?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The pressure is building.

I need to stop checking me email after 9 p.m. because when I do I get snotty emails from ungrateful students which make my blood pressure rise. Case in point, I gave a student in my class a break on turning in her rough draft. She has been a good student, making progress in the class, and completing all of her assignments in a timely manner with good grades. She was in the middle of moving so I gave her the one day extension she asked for.

I grade her draft, give her feedback, and give it back to her with the 10% deduction for turning it in late. This is where the little shit catches herself up for not reading the faculty expectations like she says she did because she sends me an angry email stating I should have told her she would receive a 10% deduction for turning it late and I need to work with her.

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that my entire teaching career revolves around reminding students about simple facts that they told me they read and understood - NOT! What the hell are you thinking little snowflake? Do you honestly think I am going to cut you any more breaks after you a. lied about reading the faculty expectations (which is a minor thing to lie about) which tells me I cannot believe anything else you say, and b. had the brass balls to email me demanding that I be more forgiving than I already have been?

I would love to come into your reality honey, I think it must be full of candy mountains and fairies waiting to do your bidding - I suggest you come into my reality where you pull your head out of your ass and realize that the rules do indeed apply to you.