compulsory mis-education December 3, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in education, teaching.
Tags: attendance, classes, teaching
One of the first things I learned in college is that it’s never a good idea to skip class. That doesn’t mean I didn’t do it, but I did so with the realization that I would likely be paying for it later. This made me try to minimize it as much as possible, and generally I tried to make it unless I was sick or there was some other problem. (And with kids, there is always some other problem.)
I was a therefore a bit irritated when I received two emails from a student asking if he needed to attend class anymore. His reasoning is that there are no more assignments due, so there is no longer a compelling reason to attend. I responded by saying that, unless there is an emergency, it is assumed that the students will be in class.
I didn’t say, “Yes, you have to be there.” Realistically, I have no way of enforcing this. However, I wasn’t about to let him off the hook. The last day of classes are actually reasonably important. We have evaluations (now is your chance to complain!). I’m also having a student who has gone through the program give a presentation. The idea is that they can ask him questions and find out what may be important as they go down the road.
Aside from that, I don’t know how to get across to him that attending class is important. At least, it was in my experience. However, I’m wondering if maybe this is just a self-centered point of view. Maybe there are other things that the student needs to do that will impact their long-term outcome much more than missing my class. I also don’t want to be the cranky old woman, shaking her cane and yelling at those darn kids. Should I just trust that they’re better at prioritizing their own schedules? I’m not sure…
Maybe there would be better incentive if I provided free food.