Covering a pre-calculus class has restored my faith in community college students, a faith I never really lost but one that has been shoved to the back of my mind after two months with the remedial group.
The class began at 8:00 AM. When I arrived at 7:45 there were already 4 students clustered outside, going over notes and studying. As soon as I opened the door, others began trickling in and as they turned pages in their books, questions began. These questions were not random, they were specific, making it obvious a lot of studying had gone on. Every student had writing equipment and working calculators.
I glanced at the exams as they were handed in. I won't say they were all good because they weren't. But, the students were. Many stopped to find out how to do problems they couldn't do on the exam. They were genuinely interested and were grateful for the knowledge they would be able to use on their final exam.