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Form Four 2022
From Different Regions and Organisations in Tanzania
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Importance of School Attendance
School attendance is a powerful predictor of student outcomes. In fact, irregular attendance can be a better predictor of whether students will drop out of school before graduation than test scores, according to the US Department of Education.
The correlation between attendance and dropout rates has important ramifications that go beyond the classroom. Compared to their peers who graduate, students who fail to complete their high school education are more likely to live in poverty, suffer poor health, and become involved in the criminal justice system.
Defining and Assessing Chronic Absenteeism in Schools
Chronic absenteeism is widely defined as missing 10 percent or more of a school year. Schools generally recognize three categories of absences:
are those with a valid reason and that have been communicated to the school by a parent. Student illness or other medical conditions are the most common types of excused absence; other reasons include religious observances, medical appointments, and family emergencies.
Unexcused absences, or truancy
occur when students miss school without a valid reason. Examples include deliberately skipping school as well as missing school for reasons deemed invalid by the school, such as oversleeping or missing the bus.
are a result of school suspension.
While these categories of absences are relatively consistent from one institution to another, school attendance policies and practices vary. For example, some school policies make little or no distinction between excused and unexcused absences. Similarly, school suspensions may be counted as absences by some school districts but not by others.
Such discrepancies speak to the challenge of collecting accurate and consistent attendance data, which is critical for education researchers and policymakers. Two sources of US public school attendance data––the Civil Rights Data Collection and attendance reporting under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015––merit closer examination.
Strategies for Classroom Management
1. Make positive letters and phone calls
Keep students happy in and out of class by pleasantly surprising their parents, making positive phone calls and sending complimentary letters home.
When the occasion arises, from academic effort or behavioral progress, letting parents know has a trickle-down effect. They’ll generally congratulate their kids; their kids will likely come to class eager to earn more positive feedback. This can also entice parents to grow more invested in a child’s learning, opening the door to at-home lessons. Such lessons are a mainstay element of culturally-responsive teaching.
2. Write group contracts
Help student group work run smoothly and effectively by writing contracts that contain guidelines, having everyone sign.
Group contracts should be based on expectations that students have for each other, and you have for them. You can gather the class’s thoughts by holding a discussion about what the ideal group member does, and how he or she acts. Once you’ve written the contract, encourage students to come up with consequences for violating expectations.
By having them sign a fresh version of the contract before each group task and project, you’re empowering them to hold each other accountable.
3. Let students help establish guidelines
Encourage all students to help you build classroom expectations and rules, as you’ll generate more buy-in than just telling them what they’re not allowed to do.
This is especially essential for new teachers. Near the start of the school year or during the first day of a semester, start a discussion by asking students what they believe should and shouldn’t fly in terms of appropriate behavior.
At what points are phones okay and not okay? What are acceptable noise levels during lessons?
This may seem like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but -- depending on the makeup of your class -- you may be shocked at the strictness of some proposed rules. Regardless, having a discussion should lead to mutually-understood and -respected expectations for your classroom culture.
4. Model ideal behaviour
Make a habit of demonstrating behavior you want to see, as many studies show that modelling effectively teaches students how to act in different situations.
A straightforward way to model certain behaviors is holding a mock conversation with an administrator, other teacher or student helper in front of the class. Talking about a test or other relatable topic, be sure to:
- Use polite language
- Maintain eye contact
- Keep phones in your pockets
- Let one another speak uninterrupted
Raise concerns about one another’s statements in a respectful manner
After, start a class discussion to list and expand upon the ideal behaviors you exemplified.
5. Understand your students
Get to know each student as an individual. Build rapport with them based on trust and understanding. Be sure to let your compassion for each student reflect through your nonverbal behavior and your paraverbal communication.
6. Practice patience with Rational Detachment
Keep in mind that you have a choice about how you respond to a student in distress. Choose not to take the behavior personally, and use positive self-talk. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t take this disrespect anymore,” think, “I’ve seen this before. This behavior is not about me. What is it about and how can I help?”
Why is classroom management so important?
When done effectively, classroom management is important for three main reasons.
- Creates and sustains an orderly learning environment in the classroom
- Improves meaningful academic learning and fosters social-emotional growth
- Increases students' academic engagement and lowers negative classroom behaviour.
Why do you need effective classroom management?
Regardless of your teaching style, classroom management is a critical skill that is as important to quality teaching as content knowledge. Why is that? It’s because teacher and student success ultimately depends on a classroom culture that encourages and supports learning.
If your classroom is out of control, it won’t matter how passionate you are about your subject or how dedicated you are to your students. Bad classroom management means learning will be negatively impacted. And chaotic classroom environments not only get in the way of learning; it can also lead to high levels of stress or even burnout among teachers.
Effective classroom management, on the other hand, positively impacts your ability to be a good educator and enjoy your work, and enhances your teaching outcomes. Good teaching and classroom management are, in other words, inextricably linked.
When implemented well, classroom management strategies can work across all subject areas and all developmental levels to create an ideal environment for growth. They can promote students’ self-regulation, reduce the incidence of misbehavior, and increase productivity.
Why Is Classroom Management Important?
Classroom management is important because it directly effects your students’ ability to learn and your ability to teach. It impacts a teacher’s ability to be effective and actually ENJOY teaching. Most importantly, a well-managed classroom highly impacts students’ academic success.
Be Proactive in Your Classroom Management
The best classroom management is proactive. Effective classroom managers set up a productive environment with minimal disruptions. Instead of spending time trying to intervene and stop disruptive behaviour, teachers should spend time and energy setting up and maintaining an environment where disruptions are less likely to occur.
So, why is classroom management important? Well, how do you (teachers) set up a positive, productive classroom environment? Let’s start with 5 proactive classroom management strategies that can help any teacher, whether you are just beginning, or a veteran with many years under your belt.