One of the leading and the most problematic issues that require constant work on finding the most reasonable and effective solutions is lateness to school. There is no such a student that has never been late to school or a class. It is important to find the most reasonable plan of action that is based on the reasons of tardiness and qualitative analyses as well as planning of the actions. Being late to school is a problem of all countries and continents, and it is important to see the real situation behind each situation.
First of all, pupils can be late to those classes they do not like. In such a way, they have to sit in the class a shorter time. In this case, every teacher tries to develop a very interesting lesson plan and conduct a class in such a way that after the bell the pupils regret that the class is over and are willing to come again and hear a new story being involved in a tremendous travel through the particular subject.
There are unlimited number of reasons why students are late to class, especially in relation to those who have acquired chronic tardiness. Some students are late because of a broken bus or visiting a doctor, while others simply do not know how to properly manage their time or are deliberately not in a hurry to school due to a lower motivation to study. Therefore, the methods of dealing with the “time thieves” are specific for every teacher and class.
Some of the mentors are more loyal while others categorically reject lateness for their lessons. Some teachers are limited to a warning, the corresponding entry in the diary, conversation after class, or making a call to parents. In order to help the school teachers to fight the problem of tardiness to school, it is essential to develop an effective system of actions that will be implemented on the school basis. The idea is to test the project that will be developed to fight with tardiness and then to analyze the results and see whether it was effective or not.
As practice shows, strict approaches discipline pupils to some extent, but particularly effective methods are those that were creative. We offer teachers a number of alternative ways to deal with pupils’ lateness. For example, the one who was late to class without a valid excuse gets double homework or double amount of tasks in the classroom, preparing the essay on the topic of the next lesson, etc. It is unlikely that students would consciously want to burden themselves with any extra work. Some late coming students are immediately invited to the board to present their homework with the rating items. This will make the students realize that if they are late, they have to be ready to respond, so they will hurry to class.
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Another way is to increase students' motivation. It appears to be extremely effective if the teacher begins each lesson with a small test paper work. This can be a simple test or dictation. Latecomer is unlikely to succeed in getting a good mark: he/she simply does not have enough time, or if the test is small, it lasts the first five minutes of the lesson – the student will never be able to get a good mark if being late. Therefore, it will be in the pupils’ interest to take full control of their time, planning of their morning, and managing their activities to come to class on time. Another possible option is to start each lesson in some extraordinary or creative way, for example, with an interesting workout. In such case, nobody would want to be late for a class.
In general, anything that encourages punctuality works. Those students, who come to class on time during the whole semester, can expect to get excellent marks in the journal. It is also suggested to consider together with the pupils a motivation system that provides disciplined class with additional rights or opportunities. It can be interesting to establish a system of rewards for punctual students who can get small prizes and certificates every semester that will help them after graduation, at university, or work.
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