Science Fun

We have been having a go round with the Science teacher ever since the waste of an advisor let her know I had issues that I didn’t have.  I have listened to this teacher in her online class.  She is not warm and fuzzy.  That’s fine.  She’s not empathetic.  Okay.  But I cannot tolerate someone coming off rude and snotty to an entire group of their students. My daughter has had reason to email the teacher, or type to her in the online class.  Half the time the questions are ignored, or not correctly answered.  In class after asking a simple question, my daughter’s head was chewed up and spit out by the dragon lady.

Last week I had to email this teacher because her link to an external website was not working.  The kids have a lot of work on external websites.  It was rather easy for me to Google the website and get to it.  I heard back from the teacher hours later with her wanting to know what links didn’t work.  I let her know.  Her response to my email once again showed me that she has a reading comprehension problem.  She has no clue what she’s assigning these kids to work.  I highly doubt she’s ever checked out any of these websites to see how they even work!  Further proof of that came from her ignoring that I pointed out to her that she neglected to send the login info to this website like she stated she would do.

So just how was I able to log in?  This teacher is very predictable and uses the same passwords for everything.  I figured out the login id and the first password I typed in worked.  My daughter even asked her in class how to change the password on the site.  It’s not possible on a student account and the teacher still doesn’t realize this.  I am not giving her that clue – she’s on her own after my latest email to her.  I shouldn’t have to do what I just did to show her the problems.

We start off with last week.  My daughter got a zero as a grade on an assignment that not only wasn’t due yet, but it wasn’t on the checklist or content for the week.  The only reason I figured it out was because I looked under grades and saw it there.  This got me annoyed with my daughter thinking she wasn’t following things as she should be.  Nope, it was another science teacher screw up.

The teacher sent the following email out to my daughter last week.  This is one of two.  The other was resolved when the teacher sent back another response saying she has the work now.  As a side note, I am not editing any typos (school links, names, and titles have been removed or replaced):

“I ahve not received your brainpop- cell specialization. Please complete.”

To which my daughter replied back via email:

“I already did this.  Are my assignments missing because of the glitches?”

There was a nice glitch on one of the external websites.  It cleared out all the assignments for the week AND cleared out any of the completed work as well.  What’s the meaning of that?  All the kids have to redo the work they already did.   So the teacher writes back with:

“No, that is Science Fusion.

I received the brainpop on Cellular Respiriation on 9/13, but I never received this brainpop on cell specialization. Please do this.”

I know for a fact that the kid already did this assignment and not only did I witness her send it off to the teacher, but it’s one of the assignments we had an argument about because it was one of the ones the kid was graded a zero on.  Why?  Because instead of having everything set to a deadline of 5 pm or later, she has it all set for 6 am on the day it’s due.  Being that she’s in Florida, my daughter is screwed at 4 am our time!  Plus all the work is supposed to have a Friday deadline.  But I am not going to deal with this when it comes to this teacher.  I don’t think  she’d comprehend it.

So after the latest response, I have the kid redo both assignments.  For Brainpop assignments after you take the quiz you are directed to a page that you type in the teacher’s email address and your name, the class is optional.  Nice and simple – just 3 lines and hit send.  Well I typed it out this time and added after my daughter’s name “My mom witnessed me taking this for a second time!”  I did pretty much the same for the class.  There is no arguing about it this time.  Now it’s time for me to deal with this teacher AGAIN!  I shoot back a response to her via my daughter’s school email:

“This is ABC’s mother.  Can you kindly give us a direct link to this Brainpop?  I have helped ABC try and find this assignment twice now.  I believe this is the same one she emailed you about last week because she couldn’t find it.  It’s hard enough to find a working link to the correct site.

If you don’t give links to what you want them to do, not only does it make it harder for them to find it – but in this case, it can’t be found.  The kids have to log in and hunt.”

Well since she failed reading comprehension and obviously has never logged in to the site to see what it’s like, nor has she ever checked the links she puts up on the class pages… I got this back today, which included a file on how to log in to brainpop with it’s link and the login id and password:

“I received this brainpop results late Friday and I put it in the gradebook on Sunday.

The links are posted in 3 places in the Science course.

They are located on the Science homepage in Resource widget on right side of page, it is posted often in checklists, it is posted in Resources- Content- 7th Grade Resources

I also posted it in News.

I also posted directions on how to submit brainpops correctly.

I am reattaching directions and I will post the link. All the resources used in my course are posted in these 3 places.  There is no reaseon for them to hunt for anything in my course.

(link to brainz given)

Please let me know if you need anything further.”

Like I said, she has a comprehension problem.  I discovered that after asking me last week to give her the links that didn’t work so she could fix them, that she didn’t.  I guess it was because I didn’t spell it all out for her with the link and did it her way – it’s over there!

So now she just got blessed with a response that is about as polite as I can go at this point.  I do hope she reads it. I do hope she gets a clue.  If I have to go through this again, it’s not going to be pretty – and I really don’t want to deal with this idiot on the phone.  It amazes me how some people can be so book smart, yet so stupid and lacking of common sense and other much needed skills!

“I don’t need directions on how to access the Brainpop website, nor does my daughter.  What I was asking for was the direct link to the exact Brainpop you wanted ABC to do.  Giving a link to Brainpop is rather simple.  Sometimes figuring out which Brainpop assignment you want the students to complete is not so simple.

When you log into Brainpop, you have to select Science.  From there you have to select the proper lessons.  In this case, it would be Cellular Life & Genetics.  When you click on that link, you are now staring at 26 links.  Due to the setup on Brainpop, you cannot tell what you have already completed, or haven’t completed.  The only way to know something is done is from your end, if you receive an email from the site/student.  Given that there are many problems and issues on the internet, and things don’t always work as they should, you may not always receive an email.

It would be quite helpful if you made sure all of these links you claim you have up work.  I know one just gives me a .docx file to download when I click on the link.   Last week we had issues with one or two of your links to outside sites not working.  It was easier for me to hunt down the site on my own vs. wait for a response.   I think there was also a case a few weeks back with an assignment not being on the checklist, but it was on content.

I just double checked since I did email you about this last week.  There are 2 links on the news page under the resources sidebar that do not work.  One is the link to Science Fusion and the other is to SmartScience Labs.  Both links give a blank page with error messages.  I just looked under Week 7 checklists to find another link that doesn’t work.  This would be:

(teacher’s non working link)

However, if you post the link as:

(a working link to the site) it works and gives you the login page.

The link of (another working link that’s different to the site) also works.

Also, if you go under content to find the current week’s work, as it was the case in past weeks – you get a .docx file downloaded to your computer vs. the listing on the screen of work for the week.  That word document does not contain any links whatsoever, just what the assignments are.

The reason you have been hearing from me vs. my daughter is because my daughter does not find you to be approachable.  I know I listened to you in one class a few weeks back and you came off rather snotty.  I can understand that your job is frustrating and you may lose patience – but put yourself in the students’ place and think about how they feel and what they’re going through.  This is new territory for a lot of them.”

I won’t bother explaining to this teacher about Word’s default settings for saving documents.  I don’t want to confuse her and let her know that I can’t open .docx files on my computer because I have an antiquated version of Office on my computer.  I just deal with the files on the craptop and transfer files back and forth between the computers as needed.  I tried pointing this fact out to someone in charge at the school and it was deer in headlight time!  Can you imagine explaining this to the science teacher?  No thank you!

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This Week Is Over!

Good news – The history teacher cancelled yesterday’s class… two hours before it was supposed to happen.  She still hasn’t responded to my daughter’s email… and quite frankly, I just don’t care anymore.  I’ll keep mental notes and encourage my daughter to continue to do her best, all in 90 minutes a day per core  subject.  I sure hope that the recorded class she plans on posting doesn’t include doing extra work to prove you watched the recording.  My child was ready and willing to show up.  It’s not our fault the teacher couldn’t do her part.  I will say that it’s a good thing that her class is in the afternoon.  If I had to wake up early for it, she would’ve gotten a nasty message from me.

Now for the bad news – We are bummed!  The math teacher, who we both like, is giving up teaching my daughter’s grade.  We’re going to have a new math teacher.  The one teacher who really has a clue and listens… I hope the new teacher is just as good.  I knew the math teacher had a full plate, a young toddler, new to the online thing, and swamped with irate parents, and baffled kids.  Instead of emailing people, she calls them.  She must be a fantastic advisor.

So now what?  Can’t I take a break in the evenings from the stupidity that goes along with this online school?

We have no issues or frustrations with science or the teacher.  There’s some silly extra work that needs to be done and it will get done… just not in the time frame the teacher expects it done.  So how is that an issue?

I guess the idiotic advisor can’t read back her notes from our phone conversation the other day… or she screwed up and wrote Science instead of History.  The only thing I said about Science was that my child is learning from the silly work, will do the silly work, but it’s going to take longer than the deadline allotted for it to be done.

Science class was the other day.  The teacher told the kids they have another extra week to finish the silly work.  She didn’t realize how much silly work some kids would end up with.  Not a problem – good news!  The teacher also told the class if they needed more time after next week, let her know via a private email.  Even better!

So I get this email the other night.  Huh?  No, please do NOT call me!  I have had enough for one week!  How do I tell this woman in a polite manner, do not fucking call me?  I was sitting right there next to my kid for this class.  My kid didn’t ask a question about the folders because the teacher handled it immediately.  I think my kid has 12 folders left.  Who knows how many lessons and quizzes are in each folder – it’s a lot!  You can’t do the quiz without doing the lesson, so that kills that idea.

Here’s the email from the science teacher (note the lack of my name *snicker*).  Names have been removed:

Hi

I have wanted to call you today and speak to you but I had collaborates all day today. I will hopefully be able to touch base with you tomorrow.

I just wanted you to know that I understand your concerns with your child in regards to Compass. I had no idea that Compass was going to assign so many folders. This is the first year that we were assigning them with learning paths. In the past years we assigned individual assignments. However, she is expected to work 90 minutes in Science.

As soon as I realized that students were getting anywhere from 14 to 20 folders I immediately sent an e-mail giving the students until the end of this week. I realize that students still are struggling so what I asked them to do is to work on the rest of their folders for 90 miniutes tomorrow, and next week I want them to work on week 4 assignments first and any other assignments they can go back to and still complete for full credit. Your child did not ask me any questions in the collaborate so I am hoping this will calm her frustations. I do not want her to be frustrated in Science.

I am also switching from Compass to Science Fusion which is more kid friendly. There will only be one assignment at a time. No learning paths.

Please feel free to e-mail me at any time if you have have concerns regarding Science. I hope this reduces fears and frustations. If she needs more then next week- let me know by Thursday and I can work out a plan for her to catch up and stay on track. I do want her to put current work first.

I will call you tomorrow during the day. I hope you have a good evening. Again, feel free to contact me by e-mail anytime. Thanks again.

What frustration?  What concerns?  WTF is she talking about?  WTF did that idiot of an advisor take notes about?  I hope she’s a better language arts teacher than she is an advisor, cause she sucks royally… and I will gladly inform her of that fact!

So I shot off a nice reply last night to the teacher:

Hi Mrs. Science Teacher,

I was in the room when my daughter attended your Collaborate this morning.  No worries about calling.  Thank you for extending the folders for another week.  It’s too much online screen in your face for one person to deal with in a day… plus if you screw up, or don’t know an answer, you have to do the entire lesson all over.  My daughter never had to learn lab safety, and didn’t know how long she needed to wash her eyes out for… that gave her tons of folders on lab safety, which had me asking her what she was doing.  I thought she was goofing off.  She is learning from the folders, and neither of us mind that – it’s just too much to do in a short amount of time.

My child has dyslexia and problems with vision tracking (I’ll spare her the entire list of disabilities for now and not even mention the ADHD.).  Reading is hard enough for her some days.  I wasn’t expecting all the work to be on a computer screen.  She will get through the folders as soon as she can.  One lesson takes her about 30 minutes, which doesn’t include the quiz.  Two lessons with their quizzes take just about 90 minutes, give or take a few minutes.  I know this since I started timing my daughter this week to make sure she’s not exaggerating about some of her work.  The science is over my daughter’s head, as a lot of this she didn’t learn, or if she did learn it, it wasn’t this intense. I also know from watching her the past few weeks, that there are things she learned and didn’t retain over the years.

We have no concerns with the folders, other than the deadline, which you have since extended.  We never had any other frustrations with Science other than the deadline for the folders.  I have simply told my daughter to work for 90 minutes in each core subject, unless she has work that doesn’t require that much time.

Regards,

Momma XYZ

Do you think she got the part about do not fucking call me?  I got this email from her this morning:

I am glad to hear that the extension has calmed the frustrations.

Another tool in Science Fusion, is she can use audio and it will read the text to her. We can try that next week and see if that helps her as well.

If she ever feels overwhlemed or frustated, just reach out to me and we can always work things out. I do not want to get her behind, so next week just have her work on Week 4 assignments first and then work on Compass from the past.

Keep me posted on how she is doing. I look forward to working with you and your daughter this year in Science.

Again I ask, what frustrations?  WTF is wrong with these people?  WTF happened to the salutation?  I guess she is playing it safe, not knowing if I’m married, remarried, single, or what,  since she uses a hyphenated name, but the kids can just call her by married last name.

If I sign my emails using my first and last name, why is that so confusing for people? I don’t consider myself a Ms., never did… but I’d prefer being calling Ms. XYZ over Mrs. ABC, or nothing at all.  I guess I’ll stop using salutations, or just start all my emails with “Dear Moron!”

Now excuse me… It’s a 3 day holiday weekend.  Instead of being out and having some fun, we are either going to play catch up with some of the school work this weekend, and/or crap out in bed being stupid!  Oh wait!  I did that last night, and it felt wonderful!

I think we might venture out today… to walk across the street and buy some ice cream.  Then we’ll come home and I’ll whip up a couple of malteds for us to toast the week being over.  I’m letting my daughter sleep late this morning.  She’s already requested we stay home today and think about venturing out tomorrow, or the day after.  Sounds good to me!

Aside

Stupid Educators – Part 2

This is a great WTF kind of  way to start your day.  FexEd dumps a box in front of my apartment door this morning.  It’s the school stuff!  FINALLY!  It’s a fairly small box considering it should contain some books and who knows what else… like posterboard for the history class.  Here’s the box with Poopsie on the box so you can get an idea of the size of the box:

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WTF?  Really?  I have storage boxes of this crap in my room!  It’s art supplies for toddlers.  Look:

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I look at the packing list and do another WTF!  Really?  It really is art supplies for a toddler, and not a single literature book, or anything else educational for the classes, like we were told we were getting.  I double checked the packing list:

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What a bunch of morons!  I already bought the one thing on this list I thought we would actually need – graph paper, in preparation for the school year.  The only thing we need and didn’t buy was posterboard – and I was told the school was sending some with their supplies.  That’s not in the kit.  I have storage boxes full of this stuff in my room.  That’s what homeschooling families do… 7 years of this junk!  Wait!  I’m exaggerating!  I don’t think I have paper plates or balloons anymore.  Oh!  One more thing – we used the last of the jingle bells for Christmas ornaments… but I might have one or two floating around in one of the craft boxes.

Now to finish off my rant from yesterday… this is a dose of what I got hit with yesterday.  The names have been changed to protect the seriously pissed off, the really stupid, and an innocent student.

I received this email from a test admin at the school yesterday.  The principal was cc’ed on it, so I made sure he was included in ALL the emails:

Good morning, Ms. ABC! I hope you are having a great start to your day!

Would it be possible to have your child revisit Scantron today? I am afraid we are lacking Language Arts and Science scores for her. We did not originally plan to have all CO students take the Science test, but our Science department would like them to go ahead and test. We need these tests to be completed prior to end of day Friday 8/31.

Thanks so much for your assistance, and please let me know if you have any questions at all.

Best,

The Idiot

The one thing I opted to do this school year was not to use a hyphenated last name for myself since I don’t use the same last name as my daughter.  If need be, I’ll correct people, or hope they take note of how I sign off my emails.  I figure it’s not too difficult to figure out as many parents have different last names then their children.  I don’t mind the occasional slip.  I expect it with school the first time someone deals with me if they’re not properly doing their job – as in reading a school file and looking at the contact info for the parent.

If you read the previous rant, you know what problems we had with 2 of the 4 tests.  So I guess the principal and nice admin never read their emails, and never informed anyone of our problems.  That would also explain why I never heard back from them.

I swear I know the idiot who sent this email from the online K-12 school my daughter was in for years.  If it’s the same person, she was anything but an idiot.  She ran a special ed program that my daughter took part in.  Not only was the program great for my daughter, it was so great the school stopped funding it, and fired this person!  It was just another reason for us to leave K-12.

I shot off this reply to the idiot:

I emailed both Mr. Principal and Mrs. Nice Admin last week to let them both know that when my daughter re-did the LA test (note the RE part), it gave her an error message at the end.  I emailed both of them again and included a screen shot of that same error message my daughter received when she took the science portion of the test.  I would gladly have my child take the test if someone would fix the glitches first.

I was in the room with my child when she took all the Scantron tests to know she completed them.  I was called to look at the screen for the error messages on both tests, including the error messages on the reading portion of the test.

If you would like a copies of my previous emails, as well as a copy of yesterday’s screenshot, kindly let me know.

Momma XYZ (I signed off with my first and MY last name)

This got me the following response from the idiot:

Mrs. ABC,

Thank you for letting me know that these errors occurred, and know that I realize just how frustrating this can be!  Would your child be able to meet me in my virtual office so that I can assist?  I would be happy to proctor as she tests in case there is something technical that I can handle during her test session.  Please let me know, and I’ll send you the link to my office.

Best regards,

The Idiot

I had to really byte my type on my response.  I made it a tad more polite.  I was expecting another response from her and was even planning on taking bets on how long it took me to actually call her an idiot or worse.  I also planned on telling her not to worry since we won’t be continuing on with this school any longer.  I have now been upgraded from a Ms. to a Mrs., and again with my daughter’s last name.  This proves to me that we’re dealing with someone who either failed reading comprehension (which is looking like a good possibility at this rate!), or someone who isn’t reading the email, or reading it all the way through.

Ms. Idiot,

Knowing my daughter, yes, my child would probably mind. I know I would.  I don’t think you understand our frustration.  Perhaps you didn’t understand what I meant when I said my daughter did the LA test once and got through it without one single glitch.  A week later we found out the test didn’t register at all.  My child took the LA test AGAIN last week.  Then she did science yesterday.  It didn’t register at the end for either the LA portion AND the science portion.  I don’t see what difference it would make who proctors it if the testing is glitching.  FYI, here is a screen shot from yesterday, which is the same error she got after taking the LA portion for the second time.

I am quite familiar with Scantron testing.  We have taken it many years in the past.  I know that if you answer too quick, the answers won’t register.  That was not the case with my daughter’s testing.  I was right there to make sure that was not a problem.  I also know that we have never had any of the issues with Scrantron that we have had the past few weeks.

Momma XYZ

Luckily the idiot didn’t respond to my last email.  I think she got a clue.  Perhaps she actually took the time to read through my email and look at the picture I included?

I did end up getting an email after dinner from the science teacher – a teacher and class we really don’t have issues with… but that’s what happens when an idiot advisor takes notes during your phone conversation.  We’ll just have to save that for another blog post.

Happy Friday everyone!

Stupid Educators – Part 1

I don’t know how I can expect idiots who can’t read through an entire email to be responsible for my daughter’s education.  I was typing an email that I had no plans to send, just so I could vent, and my daughter told me I should send it.  I sent it to the principal and the administrator.  I know the admin was out of town, but I knew at some point she would read it and comment, or call.  Nope.  A day later I received an email back from the principal, who usually calls me.  It was obvious he didn’t read the entire email.  He sent another email within minutes about another issue I brought up in my email.

Yesterday I had to message the math teacher with a glitch on the school site for a lesson the kid was in the middle of for a second time.  I like the math teacher.  She called me within the hour.  I told her that slamming my hand hard on my keyboard fixed the problem, but that it didn’t matter, which computer, or browser, it glitched several times in the same spot.

We were having a nice chit chat.  She’s an advisor for an older grade unfortunately.  My daughter wishes she was her advisor.  She is really understanding and empathetic AND she listens.  She must’ve listened to me in part, but ignored the part where I said I didn’t need her help…

Next the phone rings again.  It’s the language arts teacher.  I think she’s calling cause I have once again bitched that she does not respond to my daughter’s emails to her.  I also said that if she doesn’t respond, that’s fine.  My daughter won’t be able to to the work she’s stuck on, and I quite frankly don’t care anymore.  The same goes for history right now too!

Well this twit that I don’t care for wasn’t calling for that – but it was the first thing she got hit with, without me telling her off for not responding to my child’s emails.  She was calling as my daughter’s advisor and the issues/problems we seem to be having.  I know for a fact that I am not the only parent with the problems I brought up, nor do I have the only child having issues with this one class – history and it’s daily workload.  I thought my kid was bad?  There’s at least one kid spending 4 hours a day on all the work!  Not us – you want 90 minutes, that’s all you’re getting in a day for that class.

I tried my best to get off the phone with this idiot, that’s how much I don’t care for her.  She was taking notes.  You need notes?  Gosh, it was so tempting, but I refrained and I restrained myself.  I doubt my chat with this twit did any good, or will change anything, but you can’t say I didn’t try.

So that brings us to Scantron testing.  Virtual schools use this testing site/company to gauge how kids are learning, what they know, etc., throughout the school year, and also to see and prep them for the annual required state assessment tests.  Those assessment tests have nothing to do with a child’s learning.  They are to grade the school.  That’s why schools put so much emphasis on it.  Me?  I could care less.  I haven’t let this school know yet how I feel about CSAPs or Scantron.  I’m being nice.

So my kid took the required Reading, Math and Language Arts tests the first week of school.  No problems, except for an annoying pop up in Reading.  We eliminated the problem by logging out and logging back in to the test later on.

A week later I received a call.  They need my kid to take the language arts portion of the test. I tell them she already did and I was right there in the room with her when she took it.  To be nice, since this is the nice admin, my kid retook the test.  At the end of the test she got blessed with a lovely screen that she shouldn’t have.

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I shot off an email to the nice admin and the principal.  Not a peep out of either of them.  I am not going out of my way to let anyone else know.  That’s not my job or problem.

I had wondered from day 1 why the kid didn’t need to take the science test.  I double checked.  The principal (on the phone) told me that only 5th and 8th graders need to take it.  Friday comes.  Guess what?  The principal sent out an email apologizing – my kid needs to take the science part by today.

Yesterday my kid did the science part of Scantron.  I was in the room with her the entire time.  I know she wasn’t too quick with her clicks.  Even when she didn’t know and was guessing, she still read the problem first so it wasn’t nothing but clicks registering within a second of one another.

Care to guess what my daughter got blessed with at the end of the test?  Yup, that lovely screen from hell again!  Once again, I shot off another email to both the principal and nice admin.  Once again, no response.