Students frequently late - I need help handling it.

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by applesnap, May 3, 2016.

  1. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    May 3, 2016

    Currently I teach grade 10, which is the first year of high school for students where I live.

    I've started giving little 10 minute bell quizzes at the beginning of class about 3 times a week. The bell quizzes cover whatever material we did in class the day before and are meant to encourage my students to keep up with their homework.

    I have one student who has issues being on time for class. At the beginning of the semester, he was late twice on quiz days, causing him to miss the quiz. I allowed him to come in before school to make-up the quizzes he missed. The next time we had a quiz, he chose to go to the library to cram for it instead of attending class. This caused him to miss the quiz, but I did end up letting him write it after giving him a hard time about it.

    The reason I let him write those quizzes is that, in our district, we are not allowed to give zeroes. If a student does not complete work for whatever reason, we have to provide the student with an opportunity to show their knowledge and get a grade for it.

    However, the problem continued with this student. He was late again last week and again yesterday. I finally told him that he would not be writing yesterday's quiz and called home to discuss with his mom.

    The student thinks I am being unfair by not letting him write the quiz. He talks to me with a lot of attitude and it's disrespectful.

    The other issue is that some other students in the class also missed yesterday's quiz. I let them make up the quiz today, because they either had a good reason for missing it (like a doctor's appointment) or they are not frequently late and I realize it was a one-time thing.

    Does anyone have suggestions for how to handle this? I know the student will probably be late again before the end of the semester and end up missing some more quizzes.
     
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  3. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    May 3, 2016

    I did call home and discuss this with his mom. She was supportive of me, but when I talked to the student he did not apologize for his behavior at all. He just seemed to think I was being totally unfair. No "I'll try to be on time from now on" or even an an apology. So I am pretty sure that even with the mom's support, this will happen again.

    Also, we are not allowed to take off late marks for assignments, so I doubt we are allowed to give half credit either =( I am a new teacher as well so I really have to watch what I do so that I don't lose my job.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  4. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    May 4, 2016

    Give the kid the quiz as soon as he enters the classroom and if that means he misses instruction, that's his loss. Don't give him more time to study or get the answers from other students. Or maybe you can give the quiz the last ten minutes of class or after going over homework.

    Are you writing this kid up or assigning detention for tardiness?
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 4, 2016

    Our admin becomes involved with chronic absences and late arrivals.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 4, 2016

    It seems that your hands are tied...can't give a 0 and can't take off points. I guess if you want to continue giving the quizzes, you may have to give them at the end of the period. That would also be less stress on you.
     
  7. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    May 4, 2016

    First of all, I'm sorry you work in a district that discourages student accountability, thereby making your job twice as hard. I cannot imagine never being able to give a student a zero or take of points for late work. That's absurd.

    Second, does your school have a tardy policy? We record tardies in the attendance. First tardy gets a verbal warning from the teacher. Second tardy gets a verbal warning from an administrator. Third tardy gets after-school detention. Failure to go to after-school detention results in a full day if in-school suspension. Students who are habitually tardy have been known to spend multiple days in ISS.
    Our policy also states they are to be IN THEIR SEATS when the tardy bell rings. Surely some teachers are more lenient on that than others, but it sets the tone for how serious our school is about being on time to class.

    Find out what your school's policy is on tardies. If you think it's ineffective, perhaps see if any other teachers are having issues. If you have a mentor teacher (I hope you do), pick his/her brain about how to deal with the issue.

    And I'm not sure how your school handles discipline, but students who "talk back" or show any sort of disrespect to a teacher should have some sort of disciplinary action taken against them. I know our school is probably more supportive than others in this regard, but our administrators always have our backs and remind us to never tolerate disrespectful behavior from students. I hope you have that kind of support at your school. Don't be afraid to approach administrators and ask for advice and help. That's sort of their job. :)
     
  8. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    May 6, 2016

    Wow, your school sounds amazing! We do have a tardy policy, but it's not very specific. The jist of it is, after 2-3 lates you talk to the student, and if the problem continues you call home. If it still continues after that, you can send the student to an administrator. The administrator will have a meeting with the student and then send the student back to class. We do not have detention at our school, and students are not suspended for being late.

    For this particular student, I have already called home, but not referred to admin. I don't have a mentor teacher, but there are lots of teachers in my department who I trust and I have discussed this with them as well. The problem is, everyone is sort of adjusting to these new district policies and they aren't really handling them any better than I am. It's frustrating! Thank you very much for your support and advice!
     
  9. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    May 7, 2016

    It sounds like there's zero student accountability at this school. They are not preparing these kids for college.

    It really sounds like your hands are tied and you're better off just changing when you give the quiz to later in the period or scrapping them. It's a losing battle.
     
  10. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    May 7, 2016

    Wow, my heart goes out to you, applesnap. I wouldn't have made it past the first year of teaching in a school/district like yours. How in the world do they expect you guys to be able to hold students accountable for anything if there are no consequences for their actions? I agree with the other poster, this is not preparing them for college or the real world.

    In the case of the tardy student who misses the quizzes, I'd simply set the time to make up these quizzes during the STUDENT'S time before or after school. That still doesn't address the (absurd) policy that prohibits you from giving the student a zero though. I mean, are you saying that students in your school could choose to complete one assignment per grading period and blow off all the others and still pass the class? I cannot get my brain around this at all. What compels ANY student in this district to do ANYTHING? Or are they trying to discourage educators from giving assessments of any kind? Do they not want you assigning work and giving grades for it at all? Do you at least have some sort of requirements that must be met in order for a student to receive credit for your class? A certain number of points he or she must obtain on course work?

    I can imagine you and your colleagues are extremely frustrated. People wonder why teachers are in such short supply and many leave the profession after only a few years. It's because of things like this.

    Sorry for the rant! I hope there is SOME way to hold this student accountable. I guess moving the quiz to the end of class could work. But what's the policy on a student leaving class? Could students just decide to walk OUT of the class early? Is there a consequence for that?
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    May 8, 2016

    can you give an alternate quiz? Maybe everyone else gets a word bank but he does not?

    Can you allow students in class to use their notes but not him?

    How about making it a super simple quiz on brand new material? Like the equation of a line. Go over it for three minutes in class, drilling the students and then give them the quiz. When Johnny walks in, he gets the quiz without the prep.

    It would drive me nuts working under the policies you have. Have you double checked the policies with your admin? Did you write up the student for skipping when he went to the library to study?
     
  12. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    May 13, 2016

    I am sorry you are having such a rough first year. I can't believe no zeros and the lack of accountability. I have one student who is chronically late. I don't even say anything anymore. I mark tardy and it shows up on the student's record. I spend as little time as possible catching the student up-I have little enough class time as it is.

    We can give zero if work is missing. We can give 1/2 credit or less than full credit for late work as long as we include that policy in our letter to the parents/guardians at the beginning of the year. We cannot give less than half credit if something is turned in.
     
  13. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    May 13, 2016

    Good idea - having the students make up the assignments on their own time kind of works. I have done that before for students who were late/absent once or twice. With this particular student though, I got sick of him continually being late and then just making up the quiz later like it was nothing. You are correct - all the teachers at my school, even the ones who have been teaching for way longer than I have, are frustrated.

    It's not that they can complete one assignment per grading period and get away with it. They would still fail if they did that. Here's how it works. Say a student misses a quiz about molecules. Regardless of why the student missed the quiz, I still have to give the student a mark that represents how much they know about molecules. This means I have to give the student an alternative quiz or some other assignment.

    So basically, if a student misses a quiz or a test, they don't get a zero because I have to give them the opportunity to show me what they know. That also means that if a student missed something in January, they can approach me now and ask for a make-up assignment on that topic.

    If the student chooses not to do any make-up assignments or doesn't show up for the re-quiz by the end of June, THEN I am allowed to enter "incomplete" in my grade book. If a student has enough incompletes, they will end up with a failing grade in the course.

    As for students leaving class early... if that happened, I would have to call home and discuss with the parent. If it continued I would send the kid to admin and hope that they dealt with it.
     
  14. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    May 13, 2016

    Well, I don't want it to seem like I'm picking on the student. I'm a little afraid that he already thinks I'm picking on him.

    One thing that I have been doing, and hopefully this isn't pushing it, is that I hand the quiz out at the beginning of class and tell the students they have 10 minutes to finish it. If someone walks in 5 minutes late without a valid reason, then they only have 5 minutes to do their quiz.

    Sometimes I also do a quick review of the previous day's material before handing out the quiz. I will give the students hints or important reminders that students who come in late will miss. I don't do this on purpose so the late students will miss the reminders, it's just sort of a natural consequence for them.

    The good news is that I after I phoned this kid's mom, he has been showing up on time. So hopefully the problem is solved. I do have other students continuing to show up late though.

    I have double checked the policies with my department head & also with more senior members of the teaching staff. I didn't write up the kid for skipping class because I wasn't sure that admin would support me on that one.
     

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