Add/Drop, Teacher Swap, Let’s Go on a Class Shop

There’s nothing more disrupting in the first week of school than the age-old tradition of Add/Drop. This is the brief period of time where
students can drop a registered class and replace it with a new one.


This frenzied game of musical chairs plays out like a swap meet where the only merchandise traded is a syllabus and a desk.


“What will you give me for three in-class exams, a paper and a final?”


“No oral report?”




“I got two seats in a 101 class with a group project and a ….”


“Whoa! Deal is off. I don’t do group.”


“Bro, what do I need to do to put you in this class today?”


“Gimme lowest grade dropped and we got a 3 credit deal.”


I’m not immune to this educational auction that pits the rigors of one course against another. In college, I had a clinical fear of oral
reports. On the first day of class, I’d run in, scan the syllabus and zoom out if the course required me to stand at a podium and emote. How I became a teacher is still up for grabs.


Fast-forward 30 years and my biggest dilemma as a teacher, is whether or not to actually teach something on the first day. Why? Because I
know Add/Drop is going to make a mockery of my roster and I’ll be repeating the same lecture the next week to a new set of faces.


I do teach on the first day for one reason. Inevitably, 10 minutes into the first lecture at least one student’s face contorts followed by
paper shuffling and bodily discomfort.


“Wait – this isn’t  Medieval Papal History 1293-1392?”

“No, but I’ll give you an on-line midterm and 2 pop quizzes if you stay.”










  • Noel Chingcuangco

    Very funny. I’m an older non-traditional student. Which is probably why I never thought about or did this whole “add/drop” thing. That and I also found that most teachers at WCC are more than reasonable. But it was something that I noticed at WCC last year. Too bad I’m not a business or marketing major. I probably would “add” one your classes to my schedule.

  • Sarah B

    Throughout the entirety of my college career (two schools and six semesters) I have only used the add/drop period twice. The first time I did, I walked into the class not knowing what to expect. The professor took the class period to explain what we would be learning during the semester and what work we would be doing. Halfway through, I knew the topics would not interest me at all and I would be miserable doing the work the entire semester. So once we were dismissed, I went straight to the library and switched out of the class.
    The second time was last semester. On my schedule were a science and a math – two subjects that I struggle with but are required for my major. Another course I signed up for was Advertising – also required for my major, but something I was really interested in taking. So when I went to the first class and learned what we would be doing during the semester, I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to dedicate to a class I was genuinely interested in. I chose to wait until the following semester to take Professor Verne’s Advertising so I could devote more time to difficult subjects. And now I am taking Advertising this spring and have time to complete the work for it and enjoy it.

  • Daniel Martinez

    I think allowing a student to add/drop a class is a great thing. Reason being is because it’s easy to enroll into a class, and get an assigned teacher, but you then don’t know how they teach. Allowing this feature is basically a satisfaction guarantee for students, which is superb. Thankfully, I’ve only had to use this option once or twice during my time at WCC and it was only because of my work schedule.