By Teachers, For Teachers
School attendance is essential if you want to be successful in school. You cannot learn the information that you are expected to learn if you are not there. Research indicates that students who attend school regularly not only improve their chances of being more academically successful, but also retain the course content more effectively.
Improving school attendance can prove to be difficult. Schools often have very little control in this area because the responsibility usually falls on the students and their parents or guardian. But, there are a few teaching strategies that teachers can use to increase the chances for higher school attendance. Here are a few.
Teachers will agree that most of the time the students that need to be in school are ones that are not. This poor attendance can create a significant learning gap, which can be hard for students to get back on track even if they do their makeup work. Once students decide to go back to school, they are left frustrated because they have to do their regular assignments on top of their makeup work. This ends up causing the student’s grades to drop, which puts them on the path to being a high school dropout. Here are a few practical techniques to increase the attendance in your classroom.
There will be times when a child is sick and cannot attend school. It’s when the child misses an obscene amount of school when it becomes an issue. Most parents just don’t realize how important school attendance is. They do not realize that missing a few days a month can significantly impact their grades. They also fail to realize that they are sending them the message that school isn’t a priority. For these parents, they may have not been taught the importance as child, so it’s important that school invest the time to educate parents on the value of attendance so they are aware.
Regular attendance should play a critical role in the mission statement of each school. Each school must provide a strict attendance policy where students and parents know that there will be severe consequences if they miss school. These policies can help deter students from skipping school and help lead them in the right direction towards a brighter future.
At the start of the school year have each student that enters your classroom sigh a contract. This contract should define your expectation on grading as well as attendance. This will show students that attendance is mandatory in your classroom and help set the tone for regular attendance for the whole school year.
Make learning fun! A lot of them time the students that regularly miss classes are the ones that say they dislike school because it “boring” and “not fun.” Make it fun and interesting by providing students with lessons that are modern and have real-world examples, ones that they can relate to. Encourage student feedback so you know what interests them and how to keep them coming to your classroom. Find ways to turn boring information like learning about the Great Depression into fun ways, like learning about it by singing it in a rap song. Do whatever works for your students. By making it fun and interesting you will see your attendance will rise.
School attendance matters, that’s a fact. Schools need to implement preventive programs and policies that ensure students are attending each and every day. These policies, when effective can be a lifesaver for the students who normally miss a lot of school. Schools need to form a partnership with parents where together they can develop a plan that will improve school attendance so that all students will have a chance a bright future.
What are some things you do to get students to come to your classroom? Do you have any special tips or tricks that you use? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.