**Each week we’ll run our “Dear IC” Question and Answer series. Be sure to submit your classroom questions in the comments. You may recieve an answer from a TE Instructional Coach on future blog posts.**
I have a little dilemma… I know that the whole “attendance thing” is important, yet I can’t seem to remember to take it each period. L I keep getting these emails from people reminding me to do it, but only after I am late. What should I do!?
Hi Ms. McTardy,
While you want to stress perfect attendance for your students, the ‘Art of Taking Attendance’ is a tough hill to climb. This is especially true in those first few weeks as a classroom instructor. With all of the other obligations and concerns you have on a given day, like ensuring your students are on-track and focused, it can be difficult to remember the daily “tasks.” With that being said, it’s important to remember that your school gains funding from the state due to the number of students in attendance. Therefore, tracking attendance is what gives your school the funding they get from the state (which is a lot). Alright, now on to three strategies that will help you achieve perfect attendance records:
Set it and Forget it
Set a calendar reminder on your Outlook at the beginning of each class period (or during the attendance time). You can set this as a “reoccurring” event as well, so you can simply “set it and forget it” (a little infomercial pun there… Maybe you’re too young to remember the Ronco).
Designate a student during each period to literally “stand up” at the beginning of class to remind you. After a couple awkward interactions with the student, asking them to sit down even though you told them to stand up, you’ll begin to catch on to this helpful reminder. Students appreciate being given responsibility and it helps them feel a sense of ownership over the class. Of course, one could also have students simply raise their hand, but that wouldn’t be as awkward now would it? Also, as another twist, you could simply have the students mark a hard copy of your seating chart and then hand it to you. Not only does this serve as a reminder, but the student is doing the majority of the time-consuming work for you, thus freeing you up to circulate and monitor the Do First and Entry procedures! Double win!
Strategy 3: The Post-it
How I love post-it notes. These small office supplies are so simple, yet so versatile. Try writing a reminder in bold
letters on a post-it note to take the attendance and place it in a spot you know you will look each class period. Maybe you place it on your lesson plan, on your laptop, or next to the papers you pass out each day.
However you do it, make sure it’s making your life easier and effectively meeting campus requirements.
How do you remember to take attendance?
What questions do you have for a TE Instructional Coach? Leave a comment below…