Students are the Real Judges-Feedback from Students (Part 2)


On December 3rd I wrote a post about my students’ reflections on the lessons that we had had for eight weeks and mentioned points they liked most about my teaching. This post, although it has been more than twenty days since part 1, is about the points that students found least appealing about our sessions.

Not surprisingly, all twenty-two students who were present on the last day reflected that they really did not like it when I chose not to let them in after me even by one minute. Some of them also wrote that their attendance increased dramatically just for that reason.


What I meant to do by not letting them in late was to teach them to respect the rights of the other students who had arrived in time for the lessons. I believe that  any lesson is so valuable that nobody has the right to interfere it for whatever reason it might be. I may sound a little stricter than many teachers, but that is one of the characteristics which I never consider changing about myself because lessons, for me,  are like birthday cakes that look best when intact, and they would not look as precious as they really are if somebody put a finger right in the middle.

Most importantly, every student in class would attempt to come later than they are supposed to if they were allowed the liberty to disrespect the others. They would begin to arrive late by one or two minutes, and there would probably be students knocking the door begging to come in even if it might be ten or fifteen minutes since the scheduled start.

Can anything more challenging ever be expected to be achieved by a person who does not have the auto-control for arriving on time? Do the British not say “Time is money, time is important” in order to emphasize the significance of punctuality?

Language learning, above all, requires self-discipline. It is possible to go beyond one’s limits through determination and perseverance, and those who cannot even make it on time for lessons are not the most likely candidates for sucess.

What do you think about my aproach to the issue of punctuality? Is it really justifiable that I left out the students who were late to teach them values that are prior to any kind of achievement?

Please do not hesitate to leave your commments even if you may not agree with me.


6 responses to “Students are the Real Judges-Feedback from Students (Part 2)

  1. Dear Guven,

    First of all let me start by saying thank you for yet another reflective post.

    I like the fact that you ask your students for feedback and have such a relationship with them that they feel comfortable enough to tell you what they like, and what they don’t like and want to see improved. That is exactly what I ask from my students as well.

    Your request from them to be punctual seems logical to me, for the reasons you mention. It shows respect to those who arrive on time and sets some (I don’t like the word “rules”, but I can’t think of another) mild limitations as to what brings a smooth flow to the whole class, from the moment they come in to the moment they leave. I do the same and if a student needs to be late for some reason, they inform me from the previous lesson and if something urgent happens on the way to class, they know I have all channels open for them to inform me. They then come in quietly and I go to them and let them know what we are doing, or leave it to the other students to help them out (as long as they do it in English! : ).

    Great post! Made me think. I could be writing one on the topic too.

    Thank you so much,

    • Vicky, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment as well. Now I see that your way is also beneficial for both students and teachers. Still I am afraid students may abuse the freedom if they are allowed too much of it, I humbly think so. However, it is all about trust as I read your lines, and that can be established through rapport, I think. I would certainly love to read a post by you about the issue 🙂

  2. Dear teacher, primarily I thank you for this idealistic post. As you know, I am still a student, but If I wanted to determine a medium or a method for myself, certainly it would be like your way. Acquisition of a language -as you said- wants a serious self-dicipline, so punctuality is one of the most important sort or species of it. Congrats. I liked you post.. =)

  3. Your students are really lucky ’cause they have you such a precious teacher .As you mentioned , being on time is so important for academic success all the time ! You’re completely right about punctuality.

  4. Hi Guven,
    With children and teens I hardly ever encounter this problem with time. But as they move to adulthood, that seems to be an issue among young adults & adult groups. Your argument has a valid point which I plan to take into account next semester. I liked the analogy of the birthday cake by the way. 🙂 It may even lead to a lesson in which students reflect about learning and punctually themselves.

  5. Pingback: Time to start | ROSE BARD – Teaching Journal·

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