The 15 Minute Rule and Other Myths
By Kat Kiefer-Newman
I was late.
It almost never happens, but this semester I have an eight o’clock class and it’s sometimes difficult to get ready and out of the house in time. I’m waking up at five a.m. every morning, but waking up isn’t the same as getting out of bed and starting the process. The minute I walked in the classroom, one of my students informed me that they were all about to leave: “there’s that 15 minute rule, ya know.” Without much sympathy (I wasn’t more than 7 minutes late, as it turned out), I replied that our college had no such policy. As it had been explained to me, the students were required to stay the entire scheduled class time allotted, whether I showed up or not. They were stunned, and very disappointed.
Several told me they didn’t believe me.
Another recent debunking happened when I had to gently tell a new student that there was no perfect attendance reward in my classroom. To be fair, there are some college outreach programs for at-risk students. This young lady, though, was not in one of those programs. She was mightily disappointed. The fact is that I
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