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.