Wednesday, June 3, 2009


So as you all know, Monday marked the first day of my 'return' to school. I am taking 3 online classes and then my 1 physical class starts in a few weeks. I've gone through my calendar & planner and marked when each reading and assignment is due, when each quiz or paper is due and when the final is to be taken by. I'm quite the planner and organizer, so doing this sets me up for success, typically.

Also, when I have the time, I will work and plan ahead. For example, if I'm having a slow week at work, I'll take my entire 1 hour lunch break and just do homework. I'll also go home and read/complete assignments, etc. I'm very pragmatic about this and use my time well.

I just received this email from one of the instructors who I am, apparently, too far ahead in his course. Reminder, this is a community college course (I already have my Bachelor's Degree) and it is an online course. Courses officially began on Monday, June 1st, but online courses were open Sunday, May 31st for access.

Hi Sarah,We barely started the first week and you have now turned in
theassignment for the second week.While I realize you may have time constraints
and a type A drive, Iwould exhort you to enjoy the journey and learn, and not
just care aboutthe destination. The material was designed to enhance the
learningobjectives of the section, not just something to get done. Ultimately it
is up to you to smell the roses and not just pick them.
For whatever reason, his email sorta ticked me off. Really? You're going to send me a somewhat snarky email about me completing my work ahead of schedule? He has no idea about my life--what if I didn't work and school was my life and for the past 4 days, all I've done is schoolwork? Besides, I did the reading and the assignment exactly as prescribed. Why do I feel as though I'm being penalized for being 'on the ball?'

I'm not sure how to respond to him. Thoughts?


  1. That's crazy. I teach online classes at a community college, and I have a few students like you. Usually community college studenst who take online classes are either over or under achievers. I have students like you who are totally on top of everything and ahead of schedule a lot of the time and then I have students who email me 2 weeks after an exam saying (literally), "Oh, I didn't realize we had an exam that day. So I tried to take it today and it wouldn't let me in. Can you fix it so it lets me take the exam now?" Seriously? Ummm, no, you missed it.

    There is material that I feel needs some time to digest and that I want to be discussed in the discussions before students move on. So guess what I do ... I don't make it available until I want students to see it!!! I don't see what's so difficult about that.

    If I were you, I would email back with, "I am taking online classes because I like the flexibility. I have a full time job and am planning my wedding and in order for me to get the most out of my classes in terms of learning AND grades, sometimes I need to get ahead when I know I will be very busy in the weeks to come. If you have a specific timeline that you want students to do assignments, I think you should wait to make the instructions available. If the instructions are available, I take that to mean that I can get started on assignments."

    That teacher gets a huge *eye roll* from me!!

  2. I dont know that I would even respond, really. I think if you are going to work ahead, since he obviously does not want you to, I would work ahead and not turn the assignments in until closer to the due date. Save them in Word, or whatever. It's his class, and if he is going to be weird like that, i suppose he is entitled to be. I would not write back as Julis suggested, only because I do not feel it is the student's role to tell or make suggestions to the prof on teaching and style. I think the guy is totally lame, but it's his class and he can do what he wants. If I were writing back, i totally could not help myself but to be kinda snarky like he was, so I would just say nothing because I would not want anyone to think I was snobby or whatever.

    How seriously odd though. you are almost getting in trouble for working too quickly. Who ever would have thought???

  3. I wish I had your drive! I haven't touched my medical transcription stuff since, oh...April?

    I would respond and tell him to take more time checking his spacing in his e-mail to you then to criticize you for being on top of things ;)

  4. Just can't win! I am like you, and advance myself in reading and assignments when I have the time. If he seriously doesn't want people to jump ahead... he should not make assignments, tests and instructions available until he wants students to proceed.
    I think what Julia said is great. Who knows, maybe he is new to online teaching or has never had "type A" students who were motivated to jump ahead and your response will help him with planning his future curriculum. BTW- the "type A" and the last sentence would have irritated me too.


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