Almost there...

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

After pulling a thirteen hour day at the office teaching, revising the manual for Manage HR Records, and assisting Jo-Ann with the Allocate Labor Costs tutorial, I'm now waiting for a call back from Javier about the training database. I'm scheduled to teach again at 8am. I'm also scheduled to teach an all Humanities and Sciences group again. After my first taste of dealing with this school last week, I'm still a bit wounded. The thought of going back into battle with little or no sleep scares the crap out of me. The thought of going in with a broken database scares me just a little bit more though. So I've been testing it with Javier, trying to get it to cooperate, and so far it's looking dismal. My only hope right now is that it will be dismal enough that the class will be cancelled.

Last week's H&S class nearly broke my spirit. My high school students routinely behaved far more maturely than these folks. One HRO spent a great deal of class time talking to the person next to him, or talking on his cel phone and then proceeded to not be able to perform the functions I'd taught correctly because he hadn't paid attention. He answered several calls during class, and had full conversations. Other folks complained that I was condescending and arrogant, but didn't cite examples. Nevertheless, their boss passed along this critcism to my boss, my boss's boss, and my boss's boss's boss. Someone who had been scheduled for the class was having trouble with the online tutorial because they waited until the last minute to complete it, and then there was a connectivity problem started a special ruckus of her own. I managed to get her rescheduled for this week's section, running all over the place and bending over backwards to do so. When she finally did complete the online course, she got a low score and suggested that she would rather just forget the whole thing. I suggested that maybe she could talk to her supervisor about a non-PeopleSoft role in her department. She complained that this was the most offensive thing she'd ever been told. I've gone out of my way for these folks again and again, and got nothing back but harsh, unqualfied criticism. Half of the class complained in their course evaluations that the class was too long and could have easily been a one day or even a half-day class while on the very next evaluation, one person wrote that I moved too quickly and seemed annoyed at questions and didn't have any compassion for how much material they had to learn and how they couldn't possibly be expected to learn all of this in two days. I couldn't win. So I had planned to get a good night's rest, and go in with my shields up tomorrow and avoid letting any of my spirit into the classroom. Again, the thought of facing them on little or no sleep scares me spitless. Add to that the sore throat and runny nose that has troubled me all day, and I just don't know how I'm going to get through tomorrow or the rest of the week.

Thankfully, I had the class I taught for the last two days to restore my spirit on some level. The class went swimmingly. The students caught on. Even those that struggled seemed to really get it by the end. Even when they made errors, they were able to figure out what went wrong with a gentle nudge. And several of the classroom evals came back citing specifically that I was a great instructor, and I had made the class enjoyable, and I had kept the pacing just right. Thank god I had a chance to teach that class in the interim between the two H&S sections. I know I'm a good teacher. I just wish I could figure out why the folks in H&S have so much hostility. They walked in angry, and just looked for a target. It happened to be me.


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