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Why Grade Students of Vocational Schools?

Yesterday, I started teaching my regular online training to people who want to learn Java programming. This class is not a part of any University program neither it’s paid for by the Unemployment Administration. It’s an open enrollment class – people from various countries either decided to improve their marketability or learning Java would help in their current job assignments.

The class runs online twice a week, and yesterday, I announced that after each lesson they’d be given a homework that should be submitted by our next session. One of the students asked if submitting a homework is mandatory. I said, “No”, and this is what I’d like to discuss in this post.

Students’ motivation (or lack of thereof) is THE most important factor of the success of any training. But what about the instructor’s motivation? Since this training is a private enterprise, I don’t need to report to any organization if my students succeeded in studying Java. I don’t need to prepare reports showing straight A’s and B’s.

Do I really care if my students will succeed in learning Java? Yes I do, because I enjoy teaching software. Yes I do, because I care about my reputation. The Internet made our planet Earth really small. Several bad reviews of my training classes may seriously hurt my reputation and the future business. I don’t want this to happen. In today’s world the users’ reviews and ratings drive business.

Each of my students paid for this training about $700, which for many of them is a vary large chunk of change. Yet the fear of wasting this amount by not studying hard doesn’t seem to be strong enough if people ask if submitting homeworks is mandatory.

They know from the feedbacks of my previous students that the quality of my trainings is high, so they enrolled. Now some of them are making themselves comfortable in front of their monitors located thousand miles away from me getting ready to see how I’m going to turn the water into wine. In every group I teach there are people who enrolled to see a miracle rather than working hard. Do I have to humiliate these people by forcing them to submit homeworks and giving them poor grades? I don’t think so.

As long as I honestly and professionally do my job, I sleep well. And I will deliver a miracle. I will heal all crippled men who really want to be healed, and they will join the huge community of Java professionals. Hopefully those who won’t be healed will be honest enough to post the online reviews witnessing the miracle.


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More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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