The Three Students at the Back of the Class
Three students are on your radar. One comes in late every day and texts her friends throughout class, disrupting your teaching and distracting students. The other comes to class and participates but often has missing/late assignments. The final student tries hard, keeps you after class to ask questions, emails you for clarification but is still not passing. Or maybe you are on-line and your student isn’t participating in the discussions or isn’t meeting the module deadlines… What can you do?
- Have the class come up with and agree to consequences for being late. (Work will be critiqued last; participation grade will be negatively impacted; student may fail.)
- Speak to the student privately if that student is chronically late or seems unfocused. Something else may be going on. If it continues, refer the student to the ARC.
- Model timeliness yourself. Arrive early. Begin on time. Don’t re-demo or re-teach. Let the students experience the natural consequences of being late.
- Give a short quiz at the beginning of each class.
- Make sure your written policy reflects that of your department.
- Make clear the difference between “valid” reasons for lateness and “excuses.” Stress communication. If students encounter problems, make it imperative that they communicate with you before the assignment is due.
- Have your policy reflect the industry. As working professionals, your students will be expected to complete their work by the deadline. Consider not accepting work more than one week late. At the very least, reduce the grade on late work.
- Speak with the student privately. Go over his grades with him. Ask the student why he is struggling and to try to identify causes and solutions. Sometimes all a student needs is a reality check and a plan of action, which may include a referral to the ARC.
- Let the student know you are interested in his success. Don’t lower your standards but do acknowledge progress. The student may just need a little more positive reinforcement.
- If a student improves but does not pass, it’s okay. Some students need to take the class twice in order to understand the material. Teachers are not doing failing students favors by passing them.
Getting Students to Class: Improving Timely Attendance
Responding to Late Students
Handling Late Assignments
Helping At-Risk and Failing Students
When's There's Just No Way to Pass
What to Do with Failing Students by Marty Dawley