Following up with students who have been missing class
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This semester each of my classes have asked me to take attendance. I ordinarily don't like to take attendance, because it is a pain and I get embarrassed when I mispronounce names or forget who is who. I also don't like penalizing students for missing.
But each class wanted me to keep attendance logs, and they each specified that I follow up with students who have missed between 2-3 consecutive classes to ask them about what is going on.
I have enjoyed doing it so far! It is a good practice for me to go into the attendance register and see who has missed the last few class periods. Then I send them a short personalized e-mail such as,
Hey! I notice that you have missed the last few class periods, and wanted to check to see if everything was okay?
Students respond only about 25% of the time. Those students who respond typically have some specific reason for missing like an illness or car trouble. About 25% will show up at the next class, eyeing me suspiciously to make sure I get them down on the roll. The other 50% I'm not sure ever receive my message at all!
Either way, I think it is a practice that I will continue.