Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Class Concerns

On 2/11/13, I wrote the following in the first draft of this blog post: "I gave my first exam on Saturday, and much to my surprise and delight, the students did well. Very well, in fact. The exam wasn't the hardest I've ever given, but it certainly wasn't easy. But it was a first exam. It served its purpose: to let me know what sort of class I have."

I laughed as I read that paragraph, for two reasons:
1. I'd forgotten that I taught a couple of Saturday courses a few years ago.
2. I'd forgotten that the students who take Saturday courses tend to do better in my classes.
I've put a lot of thought into that second statement over the last couple of years. Students who take Saturday courses tend to do better in my classes. Why might that be? I teach the exact same way to each and every set of students, and usually, we have exactly the same amount of time to cover our material. What I figured out, though, is that the students who sign up for Saturday (or evening) courses come in two varieties:
1. People who have so much on their plate, they're really good at juggling, and so adding a class on top of everything else really isn't that much more than what they are used to.
2. People who are coming back to school after a hiatus of some sort such that they're both dedicated to the class and to doing well.
I have to say that it's nice to have dedicated students in my courses. Teaching to an attentive crowd is way better than teaching to a bunch of students who are there because their folks or boss or someone else told them they should be. But at this point in my life, with the kids, the writing, the editing, and everything else, I'm not going back to teaching on the evenings or weekends. At least not yet.

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