STEARNS: Inconsistent online reminders blindside students

%28LUIS+ELUMBA%2FEYE+OF+THE+TIGER%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

STEARNS: Inconsistent online reminders blindside students

(LUIS ELUMBA/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(LUIS ELUMBA/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(LUIS ELUMBA/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(LUIS ELUMBA/EYE OF THE TIGER)

MIKAYLA STEARNS

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






I need as much help as I can get with this school year. Traditionally, a junior jam packs their schedule with APs and/or extracurriculars to prepare for the feeding frenzy that is college apps. And so, consequently, I love the idea of things like Google Classroom and text reminders and classroom group chats. They’ve definitely saved my life a couple times.

What I do not love is a teacher who kinda uses Google Classroom, or kinda uses text reminders. What am I supposed to do with that? A classroom routine becomes familiar, and just when I think I can trust it, I get blindsided by an 11:00 p.m. text from my friend saying, “We have a test tomorrow?!”

This all starts when teachers casually throw out that they have a Google Classroom code at the beginning of the year. I have come to expect these codes, but know that a majority of my former teachers rarely relied on them at all as a form of communication with their students. Either they do not use it at all, and it sits on my Google account untouched, or they go ham. I can appreciate and work with both forms, because I know what the teacher expects of me.

In the first form, I am expected to pay attention to all announcements in class and pick up every handout, occasionally asking my friends to send me a picture of theirs if I didn’t pick it up.

The latter form is more reassuring, because I can access all of my resources and homework assignments online and print them if I need to. In that scenario, I have much less personal responsibility and will immediately jump on my notifications for the class.

My problem comes about when a class is presented to me like the first class. I do homework according to my printed monthly schedule, I study for tests that I hear about from my teacher and write as much as I can in my planner. And then that friend texts me at 11:00, and my dreams shatter. I fail the test the next day.

Now you think, “Okay, she learned her mistake. It was one test. After that then she downloads the app and stops complaining.” But no! Because I already had the app. My resources and assignments, that come with unchanging deadlines, are scattered haphazardly amongst ever-changing mediums. In a time like junior year, where it’s hard enough to keep my own life together, unpredictability and instability from my teachers is no help.

In my blocked classes for example, you’re supposed to do your homework due for the next day’s class during the night before. That’s how it usually works for most people, and this is disregarding all of the times I finish my current events in the car. So as I was preparing for the next day’s block, later in the evening and after everyone else had probably already finished their homework, I get a bunch of screenshots from friends with too many exclamation marks attached to them. Turns out, one of my friends got an email from our teacher that turned all of our hard work (not mine yet) to shame, saying that our opposite block was actually tomorrow.

I would be mad enough at just this, because all of my friends and partially myself had done the homework for the class and now had to start on a mountain of it way too late into the night. But as we found out the next day, she was wrong! Whoops, our teacher said, sorry you spent hours on the other assignments, but they’re not due today. And the ones you left at home or didn’t do? We’re collecting those right now.

Long anecdote aside, I don’t want Google Classroom to be used as a catch-all reason, like “You should’ve done it. It was on Google classroom,” especially if that standard has not been consistently enforced all year. I need some sort of expectation to meet in a class, and I can put out consistent work if I have consistent standards.