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Thread: PS: Students late to class, what do you do?

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    ...rubs the lotion on its skin. Tarkaan's Avatar
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    Default PS: Students late to class, what do you do?

    So I've been having this long ass argument with my boss for two years now about what to do with students who are late to class.

    I lock the door when class starts. Five minutes later, I open it and let the stragglers in. Five minutes later, I open it again, and it stays unlocked. It keeps them from blasting through the door every two minutes, with a full head of steam screaming SORRY I AM LATE and disrupting the hell out of my shit.

    When I was teaching back home, I was not allowed to admit students if they were more than five minutes late. 1 second late is a tardy. Three tardies were a detention (or Saturday School) and a phone call home. Five minutes plus one second and you were absent, and you needed a pass from the principal or secretary (not your mom) to get in the door. Ten absences and you were legally truant and social services were called. In some districts, this meant that you were brought before a hearing and your credits for that semester could be revoked.

    So here in Korea, at a public school, how do they handle students late to class?

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    I did nothing. Do nothing in China. Not worth the aggravation.

    You can make them do stress positions. "Motorbike" or whatever. It's not going to do anything to stop students from being late.

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    I plan forty minute lessons (or I'm beginning to do more of that), as much as that sucks. But that's usually when I begin, five after.

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    So the public schools don't rail on the kids or call their parents if the kids want to fuck around in the halls or whatever? Seriously?

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    You know nobody fails in public schools, right?

    Why would they call a mom about being late? The mom would just go ape shit and ask why the teacher wasn't doing their job right.

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    This is hyperbole, right?

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    It's not a huge issue for me. If students are really late without excuse or it's a recurring problem I talk to the homeroom teacher after class and mark them late in the class 출석부 book. If there's a group straggling in late who have obviously been taking their sweet time I might give them a little swat as they're coming in or make them stand in the back with their hands up in the air for the first part of the lesson. If they're late to first block because they're late to school that's their homeroom teacher's problem as far as I'm concerned. If it's a class I teach with a co-teacher (if the CT isn't late) they can hit them or tell them off or whatever they think might help. If it works great, if not I'll come up with something that does.

    For the most part it's not much of a problem except sometimes fifth period right after lunch. If all the other teachers on the floor are in the habit of starting 2-5 minutes late it's a pain in the ass to try to round up all of mine to start right after the bell goes.

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    Dave Pup
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    Being late has never been a problem. My small countryside schools consist of 100 students total. The school has only two corridors so there's not really any other place for them to be hanging around when they should be in class.

    I don't treat my class like boot camp. Setting a good example and enjoying the lesson is more important to me and my students. Punishment, if needed, is doled out during their breaktime after class and usually involves the class as a whole. Even then that's only a: lines or b: silence. I don't really see the point in singling out students who probably already have difficult/shitty home/school lives and making them more difficult. Strangley enough these are the students who try their hardest in my classes.

    But like I said lateness is not an issue for me. I suppose it just comes down to what your priorities are and what you expect from your students.

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    What I expect is that the students will be on time and ready to work when the clock ticks over. It is such a hassle to have one come in two minutes later, their friends immediately stop whatever exercise I'm doing and turn to talk to them, I have to quiet them down, then the students are all worried when I don't mark them in the attendance book IMMEDIATELY after they walk in the door, and all that takes about a minute, and as soon as I'm done, and I get everyone focused on the lesson, someone else comes in and I have to do the whole fucking thing again.

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    Dave Pup
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    Tarks, from your original post you were asking about PS. As you work in a hagwon you get to teach the students after they finish PS. Some catch buses, walk, some go get one of those sweaty sausages on a stick from GS25, others goof around from when they leave school to coming to your class. Hence the lateness. PS is very different, they're already there, so it's a different system entirely. My friend who taught in the big boys middle school used to have to go and capture the worst students for her class but generally it's not a problem.

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    Seongnam was never a problem. They knew I was always early and that being late was not tolerated unless they told me prior to the event. If they were late after that, then they would get red points which was the school's system for penalising students in whatever way was necessary. They weren't late...

    Hong Kong seems different thus far. they know I don't like it and are usually on time. There doesn't really seem to be any punishment system in place here which I think reflects on the overall atmosphere of the school - there is some level of mutual understanding amongst staff and students and it makes for a really nice environment.

    My old colleague simply wouldn't let them in and the fear of being seen by other Korean teachers as they were stood outside of their classroom put the fear of god up them. It worked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Pup View Post
    Tarks, from your original post you were asking about PS. As you work in a hagwon you get to teach the students after they finish PS. Some catch buses, walk, some go get one of those sweaty sausages on a stick from GS25, others goof around from when they leave school to coming to your class. Hence the lateness. PS is very different, they're already there, so it's a different system entirely. My friend who taught in the big boys middle school used to have to go and capture the worst students for her class but generally it's not a problem.
    Right, I work in a hakwon. That doesn't mean I enjoy being interrupted when I'm trying to work. Anyway, I'm out of here soon, and it sounds like the PS teachers don't give much of a shit either.

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    At a hagwon so much depends on the institutional environment. It seems clear that your boss wants to accomodate students who are late for reasons that may be valid or not. It's probably a battle that's not worth fighting and you may as well plan a lesson that's two minutes shorter.

    One thing you could do is find a way to reward classes where all the students come on time. This year I have two MS classes right after lunch and they've been really good about being in the classroom when the bell rings with their textbooks ready to go. I always make a point of praising them for it, especially after last year when I had two MS classes right after lunch who often weren't. Maybe at the end of term I'll bring a bag of goodies for movie week if they keep it up.

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    So why have rules and start times? Once you start letting them show up whenever they feel like, what's next? Not doing their homework? Not speaking during exercises?

    I had one kid, he was exempted from recitation, did zero homework, didn't speak during drills, didn't answer direct questions when asked...so what is this, a really fucking expensive daycare for him?

    A lot of the kids really want to learn, I mean, since mom and dad make them come anyhow, they're really making the most of it. But when it comes down to them not really wanting to work that day, having a bad week, fight with a sister, screw up at school, then it becomes "Well, if he doesn't have to do recitation, why should I?"

    Why have a curriculum? Why not just piss around watching Sesame Street (which, admittedly, would be better than the curriculum we have now)? Why have a start time? Why have levels? Why not just have open class, no curriculum, all day, every day, and just turn the place into some shitpoke fucking daycare? Let the ones who actually want to learn something go to a different hakwon?

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    ^ Indeed, you can add all of those things up to ask why have hagwons? I can remember during my brief hagwon days when students wouldn't be present when it was time to start and me hoping that they just wouldn't come at all.

    I guess you could just devise your own punishment system and tell the boss that if he doesn't like it that's too bad. Alternatively you could plan a warm up and find some kind of reward for the classes that are always ready to start on time.

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    I don't have a problem with late students who arrive before I do.

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