Yesterday was the final grammar exam for my English 252 class. By the most amazing strategy, they all received 100% on their exams. Everyone who showed up (there was only one absence) is passing the class (it is a pass/fail class). They are nonetheless anxiously awaiting their grades because a good GPA can help them get lower car insurance rates.
As they stood around me, I asked, “Are you waiting for me to cry?”
Yes, I will miss them that much. I may have been their torturer for 18 weeks, but they realize they have learned something. They have also been warned that the next level up, English 125 (writing) and English 126(reading) is going to be harder, with more readings, more assignments, and a higher level of required skill (especially at the end). Their teacher, whoever it may be, will have less patience for studying not accomplished. I pointed this out.
One of my students, a mother and nurse named Athena, said, “When we came to this class, many of us had not been in school for years. It was a huge shock for us, just trying to take the time to get writing and reading done and go to the tutorial center!”
English 252, at Fresno City College, is two levels under the college entry level English writing course usually referred to as 1A. Aside from those students who have been away from school for several years due to having a young family, like Athena , there are those who tested into 252 at the counseling center, and who came the first day perhaps with some resentment, feeling that this class would be more of the same boring stuff they hated so much in high school.
There are lots of reasons why high school students hate to write—so many reasons, in fact, that I cannot list them in this post. It is my job to find a way to persuade my class that some people, like I and the other English teachers on my campus (truly dedicated people), are very interested in what students have to write. They and their opinions matter a lot to us.
I wanted to tell my class this in public, so here you are. You did a great job, and you have no idea how proud I am of you.
God bless you all!