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Chronic Tardiness: Definition & Causes

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Chronic tardiness (the act of repetitive late arrival) can have a lasting impact on students. This lesson reviews some common causes for chronic tardiness based on the age of the student.

Chronic Tardiness

You've just gotten the class started. Your students are working on a math warm-up activity and you've just submitted the computerized attendance roster when a late student comes in. The entrance is disruptive and, now, you must adjust your schedule to accommodate the late comer.

The previous scenario is one that every teacher has had to deal with in their career. Teachers understand that sometimes students will be late; however, when a student becomes chronically tardy, it is a real concern both for the student and classroom continuity. What causes chronic tardiness?

This lesson reviews common causes of chronic tardiness and its impact on a student.

Early Education: Chronic Tardiness

In elementary school, students tend to have one primary teacher and classroom. The morning attendance is the only time that attendance (including tardiness) is recorded during the day. At this age, parents are considered responsible for getting their child to school on time, so it is understandable to look to the parents for an explanation. What are the primary causes of chronic tardiness in elementary age students?

Issues that frequently cause tardiness in this age group are medical, transportation and family based issues.

Medical issues include circumstances in which the parent or child have a chronic illness that make early mornings difficult. Early doctor appointments or the need for morning medical treatments would also be deemed a medical issue causing chronic tardiness.

If a family is without a way to transport a child to school each day, this could cause chronic tardiness. It could be that the family car is needed for an adult to get to work or a single family car breaks down, each of these cases would leave no vehicle for getting children to school.

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