Punctuality in class – how to improve this
Teaching in the Further Education (16+) arena often means adapting some management of behaviour in class to be more ‘equal’ (ie adult to adult).
So as a newbie teacher some decades ago, when it was recommended to me that I stand at the door to greet my students I ignored this advice, believing that it was something that should be kept for the young ‘uns. I preferred to busy myself in class while my students arrived.
But for many of my students, the initial euphoria of college life wore off, and the arrival on time (their punctuality in class) became less important for some of them. My diligence in dealing with those who preferred to linger in the corridor or dawdle to class was non-existent. I was faced with poor punctuality and very few ideas about how to deal with it except to complain, berate, or discipline.
One day I happened across a teacher standing outside their open door, big smile “Hello, come in, let’s get cracking, hats off, coats off, phones in the bags, bags under the table, ready to learn”. Repeated once or twice, including vigorous use of non-verbal instructions too, he was impossible to ignore.
His sense of urgency and the light-hearted delivery of instructions meant that everyone sped up a bit, engaged with his smile and it created some energy to the start of class.
I didn’t think that I could suddenly change to start my lessons that way so I waited until the new term and gave it a go. Guess what happened?