There is this part of working at home that some of my students don’t really get. There’s that word “working”.
(My real question is, how can I be so irritated with my students even when I don’t see them?)
One girl has had homework to do since April 2nd. I’ve sent her four emails and she’s never responded. So yesterday, I phoned her at home and left a message. In return, she wrote an email, shocked, that I dared to call her. I should not impose on her private life….during school hours.
First of all, when someone doesn’t respond by email for three weeks in the middle of +?!*ing pandemic, I get worried about them. Sure, it affects mostly older/at risk people, but not exclusively, and this student has suffered from mysterious health problems for years (I’ve never asked, or had the right to ask, but she’s often absent with unspecified medical certificates).
Second, I called during school hours. I wrote four times. Imagine that she was an employee, supposedly “working at home”. The employee doesn’t do the work required of them, doesn’t respond by email, then gets all huffy when the boss calls them at home? That is soooooooo fire-able.
So I wrote her back, telling her that her attitude was unacceptable. I copied the juiciest parts for the assistant principal and let him know. I wrote the entire class with information about an unnamed student and their inappropriate attitude. And, if at all possible, I would like to fire her from my group next year. There’s a chance I can do that, and there’s also a definite option of refusing to let her join us on her senior trip.
And the silliest, stupidest part is that it woke me up last night!
I really think that after several weeks of working at home, I’ve just lost the habit of real people, and my tolerance has been weakened. The situation would still have irritated me, in normal times. I would still have informed my hierarchy if a student was that far out of line (that’s just covering my rear, since once a student feels that he or she believes she can tell a teacher that asking them to do homework or contacting them is somehow unacceptable, it’s a slippery slope.) But the losing sleep thing is on me and it’s ridiculous!
So, I’m calm now. I’ve just enjoyed one of the privileges of working at home; making lunch and napping a bit afterwards. I have an online meeting with my students in about an hour, and all will be well.
And Foro is just doing his face-palm thing. Like, how can I have lost my cool with the coolest cow in the world looking over me?