We gave the Earth Science laboratory practical in the last week and many of the students missed it because they showed up late to class and were not let in. The laboratory practical is an important part of the Earth Science Regents and averages 15% of the final Regents grade. These students were told days in advance that if they are not in the lab room within five minutes after the late bell sounds that they would be refused entry to take the lab practical. Astonishingly, many of my and other teachers' students failed to heed our warnings about getting there on time and were shocked when we couldn't let them in. Now these students must hope that we volunteer a period of our time to allow them to do a "make up". In our school there is no money for per session "make ups". Therefore, I will give up my lunch period to let students take the laboratory practical and I can tell you very confidently that I will still have students show up too late to take it. Why would these students not show up on time? The blame lies with the school Administration. that ignores this behavior.
The fault lies particularly with the Principal of the school. Under his poor and leaderless Administration and inconsistent student discipline policy the many students who failed to show up on time can be attributed to his allowing students to enter the classroom anytime they want and teachers are lectured for locking their classroom doors or refusing tardy students entry to the classroom. The Principal tells the teachers to enforce the rule of "no cell phones or ipods" in class but refuses to take action against the very same students who use both in the school hallways and stairwells. Of course, teachers are ignored as the students realize that the school Administration does not have the back of the teachers. Moreover, the Principal seems to protect the behaviorally challenged students who walk the halls consistently and disrupt the school environment.
The consequences of the inconsistent strident discipline policy is the many students who failed to show up on time for the Earth Science laboratory practical and will probably fail the Regents. Of course guess who will blamed? You guessed it the teacher!
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