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How to Deal With the Problem of School Tardiness

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School tardiness is one of the fastest growing problems in today’s education. As the end of the school year is approaching quickly, more and more students feel unwilling to get up in the morning and go to classes. Teachers find it increasingly difficult to keep students focused and come on time.

Elementary and secondary schools throughout are adopting different methods of dealing with tardies. The most efficient ones are those, which are strictly enforced and applied school-wide. If the school does not have any particular policy concerning tardiness, then it is up to teachers to choose the best way to handle school tardiness.

If you are a teacher whose students tend to arrive late for class regularly, you might find this article interesting. Today we are going to talk about some practices teachers use for fixing the problem of their students’ making a tardy appearance. We will also discuss all the pros and cons of each method, to see which practices are good and which are unacceptable.

1.Lock out students who are late for school.

Some teachers do that trying to force students to be more punctual but the method is definitely unsuitable, for it is important to remember that teachers remain liable for their students’ safety even if they are not in their classroom. Locking kids out might be an effective way to teach them a good lesson but should something happen to students or should they do something wrong, you are most likely to be held responsible for that.

Besides, it is also obvious that students, who are locked out, will miss on whatever their classmates are being taught, so later it will be much more difficult for them to catch up and do their homework.

2.It is detention time!

Giving detentions is the common practice teachers fall back on when a student misbehaves in class or arrives late without a plausible excuse. Detentions can be given for before or after school. Students are required to come to your class at the appointed time and do some work you assign. Although the method is quite effective, it also has a few drawbacks you should be aware of.

Thus, students who are given detention might be put to great inconvenience if the miss their bus. You will have to contact their parents and see if they are available to pick kids up later.

Secondly, if detention is not a school-wide practice but rather your personal initiative, you are not going to be compensated for this time. You’ll make a commitment to stay with a student who might not like you for extra 30 or 45 minutes. That is a challenge for many teachers.

3.Giving tardy cards to students who are late.

If the school does not have the unified tardy card system, you might try to introduce one yourself. You determine and clearly explain to students how many times you are willing to excuse their being late and you give them signed cards each time they are tardy for your class. You will also need to invent a thought-out discipline plan and discuss with students what consequences they’ll face if they run out of their cards.

4.Giving quick quizzes for students at the beginning of the class.

Some teachers find this method an especially effective way to encourage students to be more punctual. They periodically give their class unannounced quizzes based on the material they covered earlier. Tardy students who miss these quizzes receive zeros. If this is not allowed by the school policy, you can use quizzes as a way to earn some extra credits.

One important thing to remember is that students cannot always to be blamed for their being late. Experts who looked into the problem more thoroughly say that parents can often cause students’ tardiness. If a parent has difficulties getting organized, there is nothing a child can do to help. As a teacher, you should try to be more sympathetic with such kids and consult your school administration to see what they can advise. Sometimes, phone calls and notes home are enough to urge parents take the matter seriously.


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