Last night was the final meeting of my once-per-week, three-hour long night-time astronomy class. As an attempt at something different, I gave their final quiz last week and told them to show up this week to talk about the fate of the universe with cookies provided. They were also told that there'd be no grade attached to this week's meeting, I just thought that teaching cosmology would be fun in sort of a laid-back format, letting their questions really drive the discussion. This, of course, would depend on participation, so my plan would fail horribly if people didn't show up.
All of the students showed up. Every single one.
Do you know how much fun it is to teach a class of interested students? This group had been great all semester (averaging almost 10 % above the scores of my day-time classes), so I had confidence that I'd get a good turnout, but all of them? I was really impressed, but not necessarily surprised. I've always enjoyed teaching evening classes at community colleges. The demographic leans towards older, full-time employed people. They may be tired when they show up to class, but they attend because they really want to be there. That's a good thing, because when I teach at night, it's usually the end of a long day; this semester's Tuesdays went from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. If the students weren't as dedicated, it'd be difficult for me to keep up the level of energy required to teach a three-hour lecture. So thank you and good luck in the future to my evening students!