I have been teaching at UVU for 16 years, and most of that time has been teaching night classes. I really like teaching older students, students who work, students who have lives outside of school. And this semester has reinforced that for me.
Two of my three classes have been fantastic, with my third being ok, yet it's an 8:30pm class, in a yucky classroom, which I think has something to do with the dynamics.
Some of my students are:
Tim - Older, married young, has a child nearly ready for college, works during the day, writes well, works hard, makes good eye contact, always attends, turns in assignments on time, is engaged, participates, good final project.
Elise - Younger, opinionated, likes Taco Bell and brings it to class, has a skateboard, asks good questions, thinks for herself.
James - Mid-twenties, sits in the middle-back, works during the day, always connected, keeps me honest when it comes to numbers (dates, percentages), asks good questions that typically everyone wants to ask, good writer, great final project.
Brandy - Mid-twenties, sits in front, works during the day, always alert, has good questions.
Aaron and Aron - Foreign students, cousin, always attend class, pay attention, stay after class and ask lots of questions, and because of this they are succeeding, participate, share in group work.
Doug - Older student, parent to 4 nieces and nephews, works full-time, comes in late, wears pink backpack, irreverently funny, loud, no boundaries, definitely created class community, learning to write and doing well, worries, good student.
Elise - Older student, kind, asks good questions, reinforces my comments, new to UVU.
Marie - Older student, mother, sits by Annette; they are the two that are my anchors in a rowdy funny class.
Jacob - Older student, new to Utah and Mormonism, asks questions without pause, moves casually through the classroom, talker, unifier.
Nathan - Older student, serious but fun, good writer, shares, steady.
Janie - Mid-twenties, works during the day, asks questions, shares easily.
Brent - Older student, makes fun comments, asks questions that need to be asked, engaged.
Ryan - Older student, wants to finish 2010 after 3 tries, good writer, diligent, concerned, works during the day, serious.
Jarod - Older student, anchor in class, doing school to say he's been to school.
Jordan - Younger student, funny, asks good questions, stays after class, cares.
Michael - Younger student, funny without knowing he's funny, makes random statements that engage the class (or at least make me laugh), eats way too much sweets, doodles during class, great research paper.
Julie - Younger student, took class last semester, dropped out, finishing this semester.
Matthew - Mid-twenties, new to school, came into class with a "show me" attitude, engaged and participates.
Amber - Early twenties, asks lots of questions, sends lots of emails, does her best to participate.
Kimberly - Early twenties, struggling juggling with assignments and work, tears up easily.
And I could give personal information about each of these students as well, that may stereotype, but are endearing - autistic with no emotion, struggling financially, gay, lesbian, Saudi, ex-military, newly home from a mission, drug addict, dyslexic, ADHD, over-weight, perfectionist, newly married, etc.
And I could list several students who haven't been engaged, who have a million excuses for why they're missing classes or haven't done their work, but the students I've mentioned by far make up for these others.
And I NEED a BREAK from them - at least for a few weeks!