Picture this, an ongoing class with students asking questions and communicating with the teacher. For once the students seem to be enjoying the class and having fun only to turn their attention to the doorway.
A student late to class sneaks in, probably trying to not get caught by the teacher. Every other student’s attention is on the unfolding scenario even after the student successfully or most likely unsuccessfully tries to sneak into the class.
The positively progressing lesson got disrupted and the worse part, the latecomer keeps asking questions as they missed a majority of the lesson. Student lateness to class is disruptive to lessons and very common in most environments.
While students sometimes come up with some of the most ridiculous excuses for this action, others are sometimes genuinely true.
Unfortunately, lateness, left unchecked can become chronic and infect other students making it a behavior that should not be tolerated. To tackle the problem, we’ll need to identify the common causes of student lateness and possible solutions to tackle the problem.
Causes Of Student Lateness to Class
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How can a teacher enforce punctuality when they’re chronically late to their own classes? Student perception of punctuality to a particular class can be heavily impacted by the teacher’s punctuality to lectures and other events. Imagine a teacher who is consistently 15 minutes or longer late to class every time.
Students also begin to think little about being late to the class as they’re simply copying their role model, the teacher. It’s worth noting that teachers aren’t the only ones who hate latecomers as students like every person hate to be kept waiting.
Schools are training grounds and students should be trained to take on the responsibilities of the real world, where adhering to the allotted time is essential in any workplace or business.
While most educational institutions have regulations governing student lateness, some neglect to enforce these regulations. Discipline is necessary for an academic environment and failure to enforce it can lead to students capitalizing on the perceived weakness of their authorities. Academic institutions should endeavor to enforce their regulations governing student lateness.
Students usually find some subjects or topics to be easier to understand and learn while others can be more challenging. It’s up to the trained teacher to identify the appropriate pedagogical methodology conducive for the specific course or topic to keep lessons intriguing for students.
Failure to do this can lead to some students dozing off during class and others staying outside the classroom during such periods. Some students intentionally resort to lateness to avoid such classes when scheduled in the mornings.
Fear of punishment from uncompleted assignments leads to students struggling to complete their assignments in the morning before school. Consequently, this can result in lateness to school or in the worst-case scenario intentionally missing a class or school.
With modern smart devices readily available to the general public, students can easily get distracted on social media, watching television, playing games, or even simply chatting with their mates while neglecting their assignments.
Parents should ensure that their wards have successfully completed their assignments and other deliverables before they’re given the opportunity to access these devices.
With easy access to technological devices, students are able to easily communicate with their peers online which proves to be an asset as well as a liability in the case of improper usage.
Students can stay awake deep into the night playing games, watching movies, and chatting with their peers online. They, therefore, wake up and are unable to make it to school and class on time. To address this, parents should ensure that their wards sleep and wake up on time to avoid lateness to school and class.
Transportation can be very unpredictable as the school bus could be delayed for various reasons or a traffic jam in the case where a student is responsible for acquiring their own transportation to school.
Considering the sometimes-unpredictable nature of traffic in urban areas, this delay can lead to unintentional lateness to class. Most teachers may be understanding especially when the student has little to no record of lateness to classes.
This is especially an issue in some rural areas where roads can easily become inaccessible when there’s a downpour. Bad roads can lead to vehicles being unable to pass or unexpected traffic jams in rural areas. A normal trip to school that would have taken little time could end up taking multiple times more than expected.
Another issue prevalent in rural areas is some students walking to school. These students sometimes have to walk long distances daily in order to make it to their respective educational institutions and classes. It’s unsurprising that these students are most of the time late to school and their classes.
Parental Ignorance of Education Benefits
This can be seen in illiterate parents who may be ignorant of the benefits of education leading them to care little for their ward’s absence from school.
The time for their wards to sleep or wake up is not regulated by these parents who may only have enrolled their wards because they were told to by an organization or simply because other parents are doing so. With little to no parent involvement in their ward’s education and academic progress, students sometimes leverage the freedom as an opportunity to do as they please.
Doing household chores early in the morning is also another reason for lateness to class. This is also prevalent in rural areas where females especially are expected to perform household chores in the morning before going to school.
A study by Jumare et.al, in 2015 showed that female students in rural areas were more likely to be frequent latecomers. This was as a result of parents engaging female students with home activities in the morning.
Benefits Of Punctuality for Students
Show Of Respect
Shows respect for the teacher’s time and effort in putting together a lesson for yourself and other students included and their patience in taking the time to help everyone understand. It also shows respect for your peers in class making an effort to appreciate the lesson irrespective of the difficulty understanding.
Time Value And Discipline
Punctuality shows discipline and your value and understanding of the importance of time to the teacher and your peers. This is an important trait necessary and respected in all professional environments.
Showing up to a scheduled class on time shows integrity. It shows that you’re on the right track as you keep your promises. An attribute that would become an asset in the workplace.
Route To Success
First impressions are always essential and showing up on time to a meeting puts you on the right track. Showing this attribute in school reveals your ability to plan in advance to meet the expected timeline or deadline.
How To Deal With Late Students
Parents should properly manage and allocate time for household chores to provide students with enough time in the mornings to get ready for school.
Reward Earliest Arrivals
Students who arrive earliest to classes can be given the opportunity to earn extra credit. This will motivate students including latecomers while exposing them to the joys and rewards of discipline.
Educational institutions should endeavor to educate their students on the dangers, benefits, and repercussions of lateness to school and provide them an avenue to address individual challenges students might have leading to tardiness.
Teachers, as role models to our students, should endeavor to lead by doing. Teachers need to be available on time for their lessons as lateness simply motivates students to do the likewise.
Governments can help educational institutions (private and public) and their students with economic challenges by providing subsidized buses and other forms of transports for these students.
An increase in the number of educational institutions in areas like rural areas where there may be none or few schools would also enable students to travel shorter distances daily to attend school.
The Bottom Line
While teachers may be unable to do much about student lateness in some situations, in situations where steps can be taken to reduce tardiness in students, it’s essential to make the effort to get students on the right track.
Ensure that students are educated on the consequences of their habitual lateness and the benefits of punctuality. Like they say “Education is key to success”.