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Saturday, September 7, 2013

I've been super busy with college classes

I've been super busy with college classes ... but not classes I'm taking. I'm teaching them! Now before you congratulate me on my new professorship, you should know that I'm not being paid to teach the classes, nor am I on staff at any institution of higher learning. Rather, my daughter was forced to take three online technology courses and the teachers refuse to help any of the students.

The state-of-the-art software used in these classes is clunky, doesn't work correctly, and/or doesn't score correctly, and the instructions can be very confusing ... even for me, a technology professional! I guarantee you I know more about these programs than her teachers, and I find the instructions confusing at times.

My daughter is very conscientious and has a fear of bad grades, so she comes over several nights a week for me to show her how to do things the cryptic software requires her to do but doesn't tell her how. One of the classes she's taking requires you to understand some pretty in-depth concepts that are difficult, if not impossible, to grasp just by reading about them. It didn't take me long to explain them to her, but they make little sense when you simply read them.

Her teachers are pretty much worthless. At one time or another, she has asked each of them to meet with her to explain something she doesn't understand, or to clarify what she it is she is supposed to do on specific assignments.  Despite her repeated requests, none of them have ever offered to meet with her.  One of them told her to read the book. Another one told her to refer to the "Help" section in the software. The other teacher simply ignores her emails altogether.


I don't mind helping her, and I love spending time with my daughter, but this has been eating up three nights of my week! From the time I get home until 10:00 or 11:00 at night, I'm helping her understand her lessons. She doesn't need my help on all of them, but a good many of them phrase things in such a way that if you Google the exact wording of the instruction, you get zero hits!

So, I have to give up a good deal of my life from August through May because these teachers refuse to meet with students needing help. They won't meet with students and the software grades the assignments, so what exactly are they getting paid to do? As far as I can tell, all they are doing to earn their money is sending an unhelpful email reply to the students to read the book or click on the "Help" button.      

I am very angry that these lazy teachers are getting paid to "teach" my daughter. I understand online learning can be a good thing, and many people prefer online classes, but my daughter didn't have a choice. When she signed up for the classes, they were in-class, instructor led classes ... then they changed them to online. I have no problem with these classes being offered online, but I definitely have a problem with teachers refusing to meet with students who request their help. I don't think it's asking too much to have an hour or two one a week where the teacher is available at the school, in person, to actually do some of the teaching they are being paid to do for the students wanting their help!

On my nights off from teaching, I've been finalizing all the details on A Summer in Ocracoke, which is coming out this Tuesday (September 10th). There is still time to pre-order or purchase an autographed copy and get freebies with each order!


  1. So what you are saying online classes a ripp off. What accredited institution is this and what accreditation entity is rubber stamping stuff Send your daughter to the Deans office -- oh wait it is the decline of higher education

    1. The key to online classes is access to a teacher who will help students when they are having problems. I don't have a problem with online classes, just teachers that refuse to help students struggling with a particular assignment or specific element in that assignment. Fortunately, I know the programs she's studying well, so I can explain them and teach them to her, but several of her classmates don't have that luxury, leaving them confused, frustrated, and anxious over their skills and their grades.