It's always hard for me at this point to decide what I'm going to do next, even though I have a syllabus with my plans as they were in December. My first thought is to stick with the syllabus's sequence so the students don't get confused; my other thought is to move up the time management and study skills stuff -- maybe there won't be so many who drop out if they learn how to construct a study schedule to fit into their lives, if they learn one or two study skills they hadn't thought of before, if they understand that the road to a degree is just as much perseverence as it is the gaining of knowledge and skills.
I've tried different things each semester, but nothing has seemed to make much difference. Each semester I lose between 40% and 50% of the original enrollees. Right now, each class is still showing 34 enrolled. If the worst happens, I'll end up with 17 in each class. Now that's a teacher's dream, in a way, such nice small classes -- could be conducted as tutorials! But in reality that means 34 people have paid nearly $250 for the tuition and books for just this one class -- yet they gave up.
So I need to keep thinking of new things, I guess. Even though it makes a heavy paper-grading load on me if they all persevere, it's better for them individually and for society in general if they don't quit.
Thinking, thinking ...