Stories & Writing · teaching

Proactive Fail

So this morning I decided to email all of my students’ parents and guardians to make sure that all kids were signed up for the new Google Classroom for the 4th 9 weeks, and to share some info, etc.

Well. It was a great idea that turned into a giant waste of time.

Let me give you some background. This year I’m at a new school where kids come from three different high schools to take English, math and their CTE courses. In Alabama, we use an antiquated student information system (SIS) known as iNow. It’s old and clunky. It takes 14 clicks for me to print a grade report. FOURTEEN! And then I still have to adjust things before I print it.

Anyways, I digress.

Because of our old clunky system, we have a bunch of courses in the SIS that might have 1-10 kids in them. I have twenty courses between the two schools in our district (and a different situation for the 3rd school). All that to say, it takes FOREVER to do anything in iNow.

So today I thought, “I’ll use SchoolStatus to make my life easier.”



What a fool.

So, I wrote a lovely little email and linked some helpful stuff. I still had to send it a million times, but it was still faster than iNow. I finished and patted myself on the back. “Well done, Kristy. Way to reach out to those parents and get them some much-needed information.”

And then the sh*t storm began.

Apparently, this system, unlike the old-fashioned iNow, emails not only the parents/guardians but also the emergency contacts. So first I get a bunch of emails wondering why he/she received this email.


Then I get an email from a student, his mom, and his dad saying that other parents were emailing because they got an email from me saying “An Important Update about Student’s Name”. Which, in the time of the Coronoavirus probably made everyone freak out.

Come to find out that SchoolStatus attaches its own subject line so that each student gets a unique identifier so parents will open it (I guess?). Except this time, it wasn’t so unique.


Dad asked if I could email everyone to let them know it was a typo. I said I could, but it might just do it again. We agreed, we should just let it go. If they read the email, it was pretty clear there was NOT an update about this student.

But seriously. I was just trying to be a good teacher. And then this little idea took HOURS of my morning away.

It’s officially Spring Break next week, and despite being holed up in my house, I plan on treating it as a break.

6 thoughts on “Proactive Fail

  1. Good grief. I was annoyed when I read that it took 14 clicks to do one simple thing. I hate it when programs do this to us. But then I read the heading that the system gave to your e-mail and all I can say is “Yikes!” Definitely take all of next week to avoid work stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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