Those taking that class have spent years trying to learn algebra and still don't get it so we are already trying this.
> I’m no great teacher, but I was able to get all but one of the office hour regulars up to speed over the course of the semester.
Most likely they just memorized the new algebra rules as well. There are lots of studies showing how hard it is to teach students anything tangible, instead most will just try to memorize everything you say.
See for example: https://www.amazon.com/Academically-Adrift-Limited-Learning-...