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Not in class? You’d better text me.

 Maybe my students think I’m crazy.

“No, really,” I say. “If you’re ever not in class, you have to tell me. You have to text me.”

For some students, this seems like a reasonable request. Mr. Isero expects me to be in class, so if I’m absent or late, I should let him know why.

Other students, however, need convincing. This means reminders, second chances, interventions, consequences, and stern talkings-to. This also means clearly explaining to my students, sometimes repeatedly, that I care about them and their education.

Since I implemented my new you-have-to-text-me policy last year, student attendance has been way up. Most impressive is that tardies have plummeted.

I think it’s been working because every attendance event is something to talk about. When students are absent or late and don’t send me a text, they know I’ll follow up to question their character and to reiterate my interest in their success.

On the other hand, when students do in fact text me, they’re acknowledging that they’re missing something valuable. Yes, the text is quick, but it says, I know you notice me. 

One comment

  1. Trisha

    I agree. Although I haven’t instituted a formal texting policy, I’ve been clear with all my RSP English students this year, that if they need an extension they better communicate with me before something is due, and I remind them they can always text me. Many of my students have. Texting also allows them to ask quick questions or get clear on a direction. Other students haven’t taken advantage of this, but I continue to repeat the message.

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