I took my mother to my children’s assembly last week and she made comment on how many children came in late. As a teacher I am used to this behaviour – I don’t condone it but it seems to be the usual suspects. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the parent / caregiver to ensure that the child arrives at primary school on time (high school students – that’s a whole other can of worms).
If a child is 5 minutes late every day of the week, that not only becomes a constant interruption to the rest of the class, it detracts the teacher from teaching or morning organisation, and it means that that particular child has missed out on 5 minutes of the learning day. If we add that up it becomes 25 minutes in a week, which becomes 250 minutes in a term, which then becomes 1000 learning minutes. Let’s look at a different way; over 4 hours of learning time a term or 16 hours of learning time a year – nearly 4 full school days all because the child was 5 minutes late.
Now for my teacher point of view – as teachers our day begins well before the first bell of the day goes, however when that bell does go, we are off and running, we are checking diaries, marking roles, settling students and we are ready to go. All is settled in the classroom and the students are ready to embark on a day full of learning, and in walks the student that is always 5 minutes late, we must stop what we are doing, acknowledge the child and then take time out to explain to the late student what the rest of the class are doing.
If your child is not in their very early years of school (and I mean Prep or Reception) do not even enter the classroom, do not interrupt the teacher, do not talk to any of the other students; I assure you, your child is fine and the teacher can handle it from there.
I repeat – do not enter the classroom, do not interrupt the teacher, do not talk to the other students.
Your child entering the room late has already compromised the learning and teaching time of everyone else in that classroom, every minute in a classroom is valuable and does not need to be interrupted by a hovering parent that ‘needs’ to tell the teacher that Little Johnny can’t open his drink bottle – I am here to let you know parents, that, if Little Johnny can’t open his drink bottle the sky will not fall, the world will not explode; Little Johnny will simply engage his life skills and ask someone to help him open his drink bottle – it is as simple as that!!!
The classroom teacher also does not need to be interrupted with a soliloquy of why Little Johnny is late – if it unusual for him to be late pop a note in the diary, if it is common practice that Little Johnny is always late, set your alarm clock five minutes earlier. Not rocket science. A pet hate of teacher’s is the ‘we can’t get here any earlier’ quote. I have never understood this, are you on day release and the prison doesn’t unlock the doors until 8:30am? You actually can get your child to school on time, or you can support your child to get to school on time – it’s really quite simple, really. You get up earlier and you get organised.