One of the things I don't like about teaching in college is that I only get to be with my classes two days a week. (I do enjoy only working two days a week.) It is hard to get to know the students in this short a time and I always find the more I know about them, the better they do in class. I conjure up a picture to match the name on homework and exams to try to get in the heads of my students to help them better. I can actually see Kerri smiling as she added the fractions correctly and Rolo's frown as he struggled over each question, knowing he should have paid more attention in class.
I won't reach all my students. Heck, in this remedial class I will be lucky to reach half but they'll know I gave it my all to get them through. Even for those who don't make it, I know I will have made a difference and that is something that cannot be measuerd by a test.
I can't make them buy the text book, do homework, or study. Thankfully, the college does not measure my success as a teacher on the scores my students get on exams. The college knows what I, and countless other teachers do for our students and that is enough.