|I got your sammich, right here ...|
A couple days later, I was notified that my message was reviewed and while it did contain the agreed upon ingredients, there still was a problem with tone. Apparently when one attempts to sustain high standards by mentioning that there are standards, that is vindictive.
So, despite having mentored new instructors myself, I have now been given a senior faculty self-of-steam tutor.
I tried ... really ... to keep a level head.
Maybe this colleague might have some different approach or a twist on an old one.
Then I got back a response to my mandated "reaching out" and my stomach just dropped.
I was actually given the recipe for a compliment sandwich.
(Sorry Beaker Ben, but yes, this is real)
For the love of Dog! Are there really adult human beings who fall for this drivel?
"I really liked how you summarized the assigned reading which we obviously all read because it was, yanno, assigned"
"But, you really should stop using 'loose' for 'lose.' I don't think it means what you think it means."
"Keep up the good work of crafting answers which are supposed to demonstrate the depth and breadth of your content knowledge no longer than a text message!"
Of course, no where was it addressed how I am supposed to get the flakes to actually access the feedback which apparently has harmed them all so. Yes, cats and kittens, I have hard data on how often students have either accessed or utilized feedback the provision of which (again ignored) is a major factor in why there has been a slow down in getting assignments back. (We'll skip over "my problem" of trying to earn a sustenance income cobbling together adjucting assignments which results in a course load that would make most t-t'ers cry.)
So, how many students are reading/using this feedback that is so star spangled important?
Less than 5%.
Yup, I'm being forced to jump through hoops because of one, maybe two, students.
I wasn't sure where I could interject something I learned at an actually informative seminar on avoiding conflict with students. After the usual (and already implemented) suggestions about understanding that online communication lacks body language cues, perhaps letting some time elapse before responding to a harsh message, or attempting to inject some humor there was a final message that I had never heard from the self-of-steamers before ...
"... ultimately, you have to accept that even doing all of these things, there are going to be some people who will, nevertheless, be angry. Just do your best to minimize the fuel for the fire."
Hmm, you mean there are at least a couple people out there who understand it might just be a handful of snowyflakes who are expecting too much?
I'm going to choke on this sandwich!