When we think of fortune, we think of massive wealth, treasure hunts, gold mines, and fantastic hordes of gems and jewels. But this year, my idea of fortune is how I am feeling right now, today. Yesterday, I submitted final grades for my four classes of Speech Communication with 110 students. Also, I completed editing my roomie’s book on graceful aging.
Today, I feel accomplished, relieved, and euphoric that, during a pandemic, I am still earning a living by doing what I love. I enjoy teaching young people how to communicate impactfully. In my classes, people age 16 to 50 learn three things:
- Critical thinking
- Critical listening
- Outlining and References in APA Style
Now, that looks like a shortlist for a college course. But ask my students if it is that simple. They will tell you it is not.
So, I’m feeling accomplished because I managed to pull 90% of my students through the switch to online learning, once the lockdown caused our school to close. Of 110 students, seven dropped the course before the lockdown. Nine failed the course because they gave up due to technical difficulties. Perhaps, they did not have a computer or laptop. They may not have WiFi or an internet connection. They could have children at home and not be able to concentrate on schoolwork. There are a plethora of reasons why 16 students did not get through my Speech Communication course.
On the bright side, of the 94 students who made it through, there were:
- 44 As or 40%
- 28 Bs or 25%
- 14 Cs or 18%
- 8 Ds or 7%
- 10% of my 110 students this semester either dropped before or after the lockdown
I am off for 18 days. I will teach this course over the summer in three classes. Two are 12 weeks and one is six weeks. My challenge is to revert back to my lesson plans for shorter courses since the Fall and Spring terms were 16 weeks long. The fortune is that I taught this class in ONE month at three other schools. So, my real goal is to relax and enjoy my time off.