Last night was the final class for one of my freshman writing courses at Local U. While I’m sad that the semester is over, I am encouraged by the really meaningful progress that many of my students made over the course of our time together.
I spent this morning reading their final papers and have come away truly and genuinely delighted. Most of the students chose fruitful and relevant topics, they did decent research, and they presented their arguments in clear, rational, and logical ways. The content of their work was just short of exceptional, really, and I’m thrilled to see the difference between the papers they handed in to me yesterday and the work that they were doing in September.
There were one or two students who didn’t quite make the mark. There always are. I feel as though I got through to even those kids, though, because I can honestly attest to an improvement in their writing (and, by extension, an improvement in their thinking). Even though they didn’t progress as much as I had hoped they would, forward movement is still forward movement. I am satisfied that I did my job well this semester, and that I’m sending these students into the rest of their college careers with a necessary skill set that involves more than just putting words on a page by a deadline.
Some classes just work, and this was one of them. I’m happy to be a teacher today.