I'm reaching the part of the assessment process where the last cell gets an entry - and the final grade pops up. I examine each letter grade - most seem appropriate, but if it is a failing or bad grade, or one that is borderline in terms of awarding a higher grade, I reflect on the assignments, the class characteristics, and the student. I don't curve grades as a whole; it isn't really necessary, except occasionally - for instance at the end of the semester of the hybrid class, grades in that section were noticeably lower than in the other sections, so I had to equalize them. Clearly the design and delivery impacted performance for the entire class.
In general, though, my classes are structured so that students can get good grades. Sadly, not everyone does. I wonder if they will be shocked by the grade, or if they are expecting it. I wonder if they will email me Tuesday afternoon, demanding an accounting. With some students, it is apparent all semester that they are facing challenges, struggling but trying. However, there are others who are extremely capable but put in minimal effort yet feel entitled. I calculate whether what is fair is also expedient (for me), but I always wind up erring on the side of fair when there is a judgment call. This is one reason for why I go to the mat on academic dishonesty. It isn't fair to do otherwise, so even though it isn't expedient, I don't shy away from the process.