A colleague suggested we cancel our highest-level seminars because “they are too hard and students don’t want to sign up for them.” Of course, my highest-level seminar this semester is over-enrolled but it’s easier to generalize and make assumptions about students than wonder if it’s not the course but yourself that they are avoiding.
In my experience, students don’t come to a course. They come to a person. I’m teaching Cervantes this semester. We simply do not teach anything harder than that. Plus, I have a charming habit of scheduling my courses on Friday mornings when nobody else wants to teach or come to campus. And yet I never worry that my classes won’t make minimal enrollment and will be cancelled. I worry that everybody who wants to sign up won’t fit into the classroom.
The same colleague complains that students cheat and use Google Translate. I have the same students but they all hand in honestly written essays with tons of mistakes. I can’t remember when anybody handed in anything written at above their level of language proficiency.