That time has come: back in the classroom for the next 16 weeks. Today was the first day for the students, and as per the usual, there were those who didn't show up. A couple might show up on Wednesday, wanting to know what they missed. A couple will never show up, and I'll be left wondering all semester why they paid for a class then didn't follow through. I do drop these students at the ten day mark as I think they should get a refund, and I don't want my retention numbers affected by someone who never attended in the first place. Especially this semester.
A funny thing happened in the fall when it came time to register for spring courses. The day registration opened, a day in late October, my English 102 classes filled quickly. I was scheduled to teach 4 sections, and from what I heard from students, all four of my sections filled within the first two hours of registration opening. Registration opened at midnight. This means students stayed up until midnight to be sure to get into my sections. I didn't know the sections had filled until a colleague said something to me as I was getting ready to head to class the following morning. Then when I got to class, several of my students complained that they had tried to get into my 102 but couldn't because they were already full. One of the students moaned, "Who stays up until midnight to register for a class?" A young woman sitting right beside her said, "I did. I knew I wanted to be in her 102." I was simply stunned. I assured the students that some seats would open up before the start of classes in the spring. But no seats opened.
Now the pressure is on. How do I make sure each and every student who signed up during those first two hours of registration finishes the course? Oy.