Tuesday, May 18, 2010


that would have made a BIG difference this semester!

This spring I taught a senior course titled English Short Stories which had an enrollment of 100 students. Twelves hours a week, I would show up regularly to the classroom and sometimes zero students would appear, sometimes one, at the most 5. It was a frustrating semester.

Last night I learned some news that would have made ALL the difference. I could have been less frustrated. I would have made the class less academic but more like a book club. I would have combined all the classes into 4 hours a week. Instead of teaching the same lesson plan three times a week to an empty classroom, I would have only taught it once a week to a somewhat fuller class.

What was the big news?

The information that no one thought was important enough to tell the teacher was

The English Short Stories course is an informal course with no grade or final exam.

ARGH!!! My students spent $5 on photocopies for the course, and I spent over $100 this semester making photocopies for the students because there was no book. I didn't want my course to cost too much money out of their already empty pockets. If I had known it was an informal course, I could have found a way to make it cheaper for all of us.

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