My first ever totally literature class is over, three weeks after it started. I got to teach my favorite lit and I had 16 students who were all motivated to stay in the class.
Usually I have about a 50% drop rate in my class and a 15-25% failure rate. (I’m a hard teacher and many of the students are unprepared and uncommitted to college, such as the student who explained he was in school to get a car from his mother.)
In this class, 50% got A’s.
The English secretary said I must have been too easy on them. Maybe. But I don’t think so. The final short answer test, which allowed the use of notes and summaries on all the works we read this semester, was difficult. The highest grade on it was a B. A low B. The lowest grades were 29s. There were a few of those.
So my tests weren’t too easy.
I did count as 50% of the grade all the little homeworks they had to do along the way and their timeliness and presence in class. Those things came to a total of 3100 points. In three weeks. That includes quizzes which were never 100 points. I think there were 11 quizzes. Plus lots of reading. And answering questions. And summaries.
If they were never late and never absent they got an additional point added to their entire average. I don’t think that’s too much to ask in a class that is only 14 days long. But it was not a reward garnered by many in the class. I think 25% got it.
Then the essays and exams, with the final, made up the other 50% of their grade. We had one test and five papers, including a short research paper, besides the final which was an essay and a short answer test. In three weeks. This was the section that most people had more trouble with. But obviously they didn’t have too much trouble. They couldn’t have had less than a 79 average in this section to get an A in the class.