Classroom Management – Late Penalties

Late penalties. They are a highly contested issue in structuring and guiding a classroom. Tom Schimmer is anti-late penalties. He gives a variety of reasons to back up his argument and why late penalties should not be at the forefront in classrooms.

Personally I do not see myself having a class without late penalties. Penalizing the students that are tardy is an essential lesson to learn. It helps students in realizing the real elements of life. If you show up late to work/interview/meeting, etc there are going to be repercussions. Therefore, why not exemplify this in the classroom? Whether students go to university after school, work, or travel, each of these are going to be influenced by an individuals’ capability to be punctual.

Obviously there are extenuating circumstances that lead to assignments being late. A teacher needs to be wary of this. While this does occur, students laziness and tardiness also does. To neutralize these traits, late penalties will motivate students to do their assignments in time.

One way that late marks can embody a teachers flexibility is having a timeframe in which assignments can be handed in. For instance, having a 3-4 day range that major assignments can be handed in can alleviate the pressure of students in meeting deadlines. Schimmer’s main argument is that late penalties assert that inaccuracy is being encouraged due to punctuality. While I do agree with this, giving a day range accommodates that students can perfect their assignments as opposed to rushing to get these done.

Accommodating the differing traits of students through something like a timeframe to hand in assignments, offers a classroom setting that the pressure of deadlines is at ease. Along with this, my late penalties will not be large reprimands. Perhaps having a 1% off a day that it is late will work against the inaccuracy notion that Schimmer is adamantly displaying.


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