Ms. Konken Fires New Salvo in the War on Tardies

Most people have noticed that many Locust Grove students are having a hard time getting to class before the tardy bell rings. These tardies are a concern for teachers, because students arriving late are missing instructional time as well as disrupting the flow of class.

Ms. Konken recently came up with novel policy for handling these stragglers. The Wildcat Chronicle asked her a few questions about her new system.

Briefly describe the tardy policy you’re using.

If students do not have two feet in the classroom when the bell rings, they must fill out a tardy pass to gain access to the classroom. Students write their name and the date on the tardy slip, show it through the classroom window, and will then be let into the class. The slip is added to their Steps. Each tardy pass counts as one step.

Why are you using this procedure?

Because of our time virtual and hybrid, students have forgotten the life skill of getting to places on time. Although hall time has been extended–once upon a time it was 4 minutes between classes, not 6!– students are still getting to class when it suits them. This means that they are missing instruction, and often the same students who are tardy are the ones who are failing my class. Entering into class late is disruptive enough without the teacher having to stop their lesson to take out their Step book as well.

How much of an effect is it having?

Before I implemented this policy, I had 5-7 students tardy each period who were missing instruction. Now, I frequently have days with no tardies! I usually average 2-3 tardies a period though.

How have students reacted to it? 

At first, students were very strongly opposed to the policy change—there was a lot of sassiness. Now that we have had time to adjust, students are doing much better, and those same students are having a better time understanding their work.

Do you plan to keep using the policy, or tweaking it at all? 

I plan on continuing the policy. It allows me to do my duties as a teacher with minor interference into my students’ time. I’d rather be helping students during class than dealing with paperwork. I’ve had to make a few tweaks to it already, particularly when it comes to the tardy pass itself. I plan on changing the instructions and look of the pouch on the door. Now that other teachers are adopting the policy, I think something more professional looking would serve the school better, especially since the instructions are outdated.