This is my participation semester. I’ve only made one important change to my classes, and that is basing 40% of students’ grades on participation and homework. Otherwise, my syllabus is basically the same. I will, however, be doing up a sheet that I can hand out next week, if I can enlist some help. It’s a list of things students are expected to do if they really want to learn English.
I’m working hard to keep my motivation up, to try to be idealistic and realistic about these kids. In my first class most kids seemed okay, but in the second, yesterday afternoon, there were these punks in the back… there always are, aren’t there? But the difference is, with participation more heavily weighed, the kids who screw around will hurt more, even if they do pull their socks up for the exam. When almost half your grade is from how you’re working in class, I should think people will try a little harder. At least, once they get that.
My schedule’s pretty nice: a late start on Mondays, a very heavy Tuesday, one class on Wednesday, and a few more on Thursday, finishing at 4:30. No class Fridays. Can’t complain, really.
Best get my shower and be out the door; my first class today is in half an hour.