Waiting for the Fallout

I missed a deadline last week.  I teach at ABC College, a proprietary school that is well-known for strict faculty grading deadlines, and I missed one.  I was aware of what I was doing and was willing to accept the consequences.  I had 48 hours to return feedback on assignments in two sections of the same class, and the deadline fell while I had a sinus infection.  I could have tried to get the grading completed, but I chose rest and pain medications.  I did get the grading done the next day and I know it was better feedback than I could have provided in the given timeline.

After missing the deadline, I woke expecting some sort of fall-out.  I had heard many rumors in my online newsgroup and from friends that those grade columns are monitored and negative feedback would come if I missed a grading deadline.  I opened my email with some sense of dread-nothing there.  I checked the classroom-again nothing.  I went through the rest of the day waiting for some sort of reprimand and went to bed that night to silence.  I have been waiting ever since for lightening to strike, and it never has.

I am now wondering if the rumors may be false.  Has this school gotten a bad reputation without cause?  Is the image of micro-managing adjunct faculty really wrong?  It could be.  My guess is that the classroom grade postings are not really monitored to the hour, but are checked on if there is a student complaint.  I have always gotten feedback in on-time, and this instance was only one-day late, so maybe the students were not upset.  I have just moved forward with my work and so have the students. This one slip may be a non-issue, but I still am on edge and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I know many online instructors dislike this school because of the grading and feedback deadlines.  I am really not that opposed to the deadlines.  The work needs to be returned to the students in a timely manner so that they can see the feedback and incorporate the changes in their next assignments.  The students are required to turn their work in on-time or they are penalized.  I am fine with having the same standards for my feedback. I should be leading by example in the classroom, not take liberties just because I am the faculty member.  I also have to admit that the deadlines keep me on-task and prevent procrastination. When I juggle so many classes, it helps to have set deadlines to help prioritize the workload.

Are the rumors untrue?  Is ABC college really not watching every faculty member’s move?  I have often gone against the group views with my opinions of this school.  Am I just lucky and managed to not get caught?  Or do I have a good track record and the micro-managers are busy watching other faculty members?  I would like to think that ABC College treats their faculty better than the popular opinion.  I would also like to think my long period of service and  teaching record is making me less of a target for ABC College to micromanage.

I know a warning could still be forth-coming.  I have not had a peer-review in quite a few months, so one of these two sections could be picked.  The reviewer could notice the late grade posting and it could could come to light.  I am willing to take the the feedback and any reprimand that come my way.  I do have to admit that I am still looking over my shoulder; the waiting is the hard part.  Maybe it would have been easier to have been caught and know the consequences.

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