Lateness in class among students is one of the problems that lecturers and educational institutions handle regularly. A bigger problem is the type of excuses and causes they give for their lateness. While solutions for tardiness are needed, it is not sure to know who is genuine and who is not.
To better understand how to deal with lateness among students, it is better to know the intentions that they have for being late. Some are genuine others are just taking advantage of the school rules or the understanding of the professors.
All in all, lateness entails any act of arriving or coming after the due or usual time. Getting late in school is arriving at school at a time contrary to the rules of the school.
Causes of Student Tardiness and Lateness to Class
There are reasons why most students get late in class. As reported by students, many factors affect students timekeeping and thus get late to school. In this section, we present a number of those factors as causes.
1. Traffic jams on roads
Traffic jam is a major issue in a majority of cities around the world. These cities cluster with traffic jams causing delays due to the slow movement of vehicles.
Students in traffic jams are likely to be late for school. Students who don’t want to be late due to traffic jams are forced to wake up extra early to compensate for the time lost in the traffic.
Delayed transport can also make a student arrive late at school. The school bus can be late sometimes and improper scheduling can inconvenience students who have contracts with drivers.
Other students live in remote areas away from the school and getting a transport car may be very hard sometimes.
2. Improper time management
This is the main cause of lateness in school. Many students postpone doing their homework at the right hours and do them late in the night or the morning before school.
Students must complete the assignment in the morning before coming to school. Most of these students come to school late.
Mismanagement of time among students is mostly caused by playing computer games, social media interactions, and watching TV programs.
This results in students sleeping very late in the night making waking up early in the morning for school preparation a problem.
3. Teachers not leading by example
If teachers on duty don’t come to school early, no student will come to school early. Teachers going to school early is not only a sign of leading by example but also makes students who fear punishment come to school early.
In this regard, not punishing students who come to school late can encourage persistent lateness among students. The administration of a school should stamp its authority by establishing methods of punishment for school latecomers.
Teachers must be punctual in school activities such as attending classes and meetings too. This avoids the thought of perceiving lateness as a right thing among students.
4. Bad transportation and school routes
Roads leading to schools can be in bad condition. The presence of many potholes on the roads cause delays to cars taking students to the school.
The drivers cannot drive smoothly to help students arrive at school on time. Muddy roads may also prevent students who walk to school from arriving at school early.
5. Irresponsible parents
Some parents do not concern themselves with the academic welfare of their children. They don’t care whether their kids wake up early and bath to school.
They don’t follow up on whether their kids go directly to the school, pass by somewhere, or do not go at all.
When children feel that their parents have ignored them and are not monitoring them at all, they may tend to go to school at any time they want.
6. The incompetence of the teachers
When a teacher fails to motivate students either intrinsically or extrinsically, the students get bored by the classes of that particular teacher. If a professor gets late to class, the student will most definitely get no reason to attend classes early.
When that teacher has got classes the student attends them late intentionally.
Teachers who lack proper teaching methodologies may make student boycott their classes.
When the lessons are monotonous and a classroom does not feel like a conducive environment of learning to students, the student may skip the classes.
If the classes are during the morning hours, students may purposively come to school late.
7. Failure to reinforce school rules
If the rules in a school are inoperative, students will do things their way. This includes coming to school late and attending classes late contrary to the set rules.
If the rules in a school are not enforced, the school cannot run properly. The students will use this opportunity to behave in their preferred ways.
8. Psychological and emotional problems
This is most common in teenage and older students. Emotional and psychological problems can demotivate students from attending classes early.
Conditions such as depression lead to an increased feeling of demotivation when it comes to engaging in daily activities.
These conditions and their medications can also affect the sleep sequence of the students hence affect their ability to get to class early.
9. Students losing the importance of Attending classes
Some students just want to be seen in class while others convince themselves that they will catch up with what the instructor has taught before they arrive in class.
These students mostly lie to themselves because it is at the beginning of the class that most instructors share important administrative information, present the topic of the day, frame the basis of discussion, and connect the topic of the day to previous topics.
Reasons why Students are Late for Online Classes
The modern busy world with too many challenges has made online learning a norm. More importantly, an increase in technological advancements has promoted students to take online classes. Coupled with pandemics and health challenges, online classes have become necessary.
These factors have made online classes a popular thing around the world with reduced face-to-face classes. However, students’ tardiness and poor timekeeping have followed them to the online classes. The following are reasons that can get one late for online classes:
1. Network and data problems
Some areas lack a reliable network for internet connection. Students living in these areas may be ready to attend online classes but the network may delay them and login into the class late.
Not everyone can afford a good internet connection. Most students who have to buy data every time there is an online class may be sometimes late for classes. Poor internet connections can also be used as an excuse for late online homework which can be accepted if well backed up.
2. Lack of monitoring by the faculty
When there is a large number of students involved, monitoring during online classes becomes hard.
One can log into the class and proceed to do other things and then attend a class that is already ongoing later.
Most online classes are done at home. Most students have work to do at home unlike at school where the schedule for everyone is the same.
Students may be occupied by the time the class starts and end up attending the online class late. This is one of the factors affecting students’ lateness in schools as reported in a research.
Good excuses to be Late to Online School
When you are late for an online class you can use the following excuses that will let you off the hook:
1. Power shortage
You can tell your instructor that there was a power shutdown and you had to wait for power to be restored to attend the class.
2. Excuse of technical problems, like the app was offline
Telling your instructors that the app had to be updated for it to open can be a good excuse to explain why you joined the online class late.
3. Sibling using the computer
If your sibling had a class ongoing and you had to wait for it to end to attend yours can be an excuse that your instructor can accept as to why you attended the class late.
4. Logged in to the wrong class
With the increased sharing of links to online classes by different professors, you can argue that you clicked on the wrong link and had to get back and click the correct link to join the class. This can be a good reason as to why you are joining the class late.
5. Internet issues
A poor internet connection that you had to sort out is usually a good excuse for attending an online class late. Even professors sometimes have problems with internet connections and they may easily understand.
How to deal with Late Students
1. Setting clear rules and consequences
The time students should be in class has to be set clearly. Make it known to the students of what will happen to them if they are late to class and that the consequences will be applied every time they are late for class.
2. Be the example
Always start the class early. Be punctual in everything you do and encourage your students to do the same. You can’t start classes late and ask your students to come to classes early.
3. Reward early arrivals
You can give a short assignment to students who get to class early. This assignment should earn them points in their exams.
Late students will have to come early to get the points and avoid huge mark gaps between them and the students who arrive early.
You can also thank the students who come early. Students who come late will change to get praised and rewarded too. This is a key method of promoting students’ timekeeping and avoid lateness.
4. Late students sitting at the back
By getting students who come late to class to sit at the back of the class and not stopping what you are doing to get them up to speed, you will encourage them to start attending classes early.