The Attendance Blues

September 12, 2008

I started this week a little discouraged.  My students attendance had done a swan dive and–I don’t know–I might’ve scared away some of my new students.  I don’t know why–maybe I’m just intimidating.  Okay not likely.  I’m not exactly sure what the deal is.  I know my students have a lot going on in their lives, but some students think it’s okay to only come every 2-3 weeks.

Needless to say, this kind of attendance has really sapped most of my motivation.  It’s kind of hard to really get enthused about lesson planning when you’re not sure if people are really going to show up.   And…you can definitely not try to work on a project on a long-term basis.  That will never work out.  But as I was helping my 4-5 regular students work on math, I had an epiphany.  I told them that I was a little discouraged in class but not with them. 

One students said, “Because no one’s coming to class”.  I said that pretty much summed it up.

But I told them that I wasn’t going to worry about the people who barely show up and focus on getting them to move up to the GED class.  Now, that might sound harsh.  I don’t mean I’m going to ignore the bad-attendance people, but I’m not going to fret it if I can’t get them to come on a regular basis.  I don’t want the fact that many of my students have bad attendance affect how I teach those that are faithful.  They’ve got their business together and deserve the bulk of my attention and time.

Almost all of my students that come regularly move up to the next level class.  When you do the work you progress.  If you don’t come regularly, you won’t make as much progress.  It’s simple math.  It’s just time to work with those who are ready to work with me.

Kolter

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