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Suzanne Kart

I couldn't agree more. As a community college adjunct instructor, it usually takes my students four weeks to realize I am serious about giving them an A for learning the material (these students are usually 18 or 19, just out of high school).

I tell them, "My biggest concern is that you learn this material. If you give me what I want, I will give you what you want: An A." I get the skeptical looks. First quiz comes around. I tell them, "In the workforce, you're seldomly required to memorize anything. They let you use your reference materials. So for the quiz, you can use your notes. You can't use your book, because I don't want you to just look up the answers. But I'll tell you the topics will cover, so you can take a lot of notes on those areas."

Over the course of the semester, I get the three or four papers that are totally wrong, because they clearly didn't "get" what I wanted. I let them fix it and tell them, "I'm not going to let you flunk because you screwed up. The goal is to LEARN. And how do we learn best? When we screw up."

So by the last quarter of the semester, I get many many students tell me mine is there favorite class, and not just "because it's easy." (It's not, by the way. They work their behinds off without seeming to realize it).

My favorite part is when they do their final presentations and nearly all of them nail it. And at when their grades are posted, they get what they wanted (and deserved): An A.

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