We had parent-teacher conferences last week. (Did I mention this already? The weekend has not been nearly as restorative as it should be.)
So. One of the things I want to tackle with my new system is lateness. It's a huge problem, and nothing that I did helped. A few of the kids are working on twenty latenesses for the year. Nothing is being done at the administrative level either. Lunch detention didn't make a difference; it just meant that the kids were late AND bitching and moaning about how unfair I am.
Even though I'd spoken to parents over the phone, I made a point to emphasize the issue during conferences, and I was stunned at the number of parents who explained that their kids were late because they, the parents, didn’t always get them up in time. On Friday, one chronically late student was later than usual with a note from his mother, explaining that she overslept, and was unable to get him up. Keep in mind that I teach sixth graders, and many of them are responsible for walking younger siblings to and from school. They have their own apartment and house keys. Hell, I didn't have a house key all through high school, something that still makes me the object of ridicule among some of my friends. But my mother no longer woke me up when I was in sixth grade; I was on my own.
So, these children who have iPods and cell phones that are more sophisticated than mine don’t own that other very high-tech gadget, the alarm clock.