Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kids coming in late

Goal of the week: to get the master list of goals for my program. I'm halted on doing that until I hear back from my Marian College adviser. She is MIA.

Today's topic: Participation Points

The people in my Graduate Program (tm) hate participation points with a passion. They say that it's not a true test of what the student knows and therefore should not be part of the grading scale. I both agree with that statement.

However, I really need to find a way to get my students to STOP coming to class LATE. Actually, I don't care if they come in the door late. I just care if they're a disruption in my class. If they come in singing, dancing (yes, I have students that do this every day and cause a unholy racket every time they do it), pulling chairs and stools across the room, and basically interferring with my ability to talk.

Now that I think about it, the real problem are the students making noise when they come in the door late when I'm trying to teach. It's disrespectful to the other students trying to learn, and slows down time that I could be spending with the students helping them because I have to stop and get it quiet again. Also, by coming in late they slow me down by constantly asking what they missed, both loudly and repeatedly.

There needs to be a procedure in place to put a stop to this. I refuse to lock the door like the other teachers do. The students need to be in class. However, they do not need to be treated the same way as the other students for coming in late. I need to move my desk to right next to the door. That way, I can tell exactly who is coming in and who isn't and force them to the side of the room to wait to be seated.

Actually, if I had a project-based class, then there wouldn't be much of a problem. If the students came in late, then it would be their issue and I wouldn't have to deal with it. Kids learn best by doing anyway. They don't want to listen to me talk and they hate doing anything from the book in class.

In a perfect world I'd love to have a project-based classroom where the kids learn by doing different projects at least 3 days a week. I would explain at the beginning of class and then the kids would start working. If students came in late, then they'd have to catch up from other students because they missed the explanation. OR they come in after school because it's their responsibility to be at school.

This is what gets me: students that miss school (I don't care if it's excused or not - that's not my business) but then think that they shouldn't have to do the same amount of work as everyone else that was here. If your grandmother died or your were sick or you were skipping, you are still responsible for the same amount of work as everyone else. You need to get it and make it up, either before or after an absence. If you miss a lab, you need to come in after school and make it up. If you miss a movie, you need to rent it or stay after school and watch it to do the assignment. That is the deal. If you miss time, then you need to make it up. No Exceptions.

Ok, back to kids coming in late. I need a procedure that works. I think I need to buy everything of Harry Wong's and memorize it. He's the apparent king of procedures in the classroom.

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