Each of us has our own story of woe at work. If you are a manager or even a CEO of an organisation, then you have to get your workers to completeall works before the deadline. If you are a teacher, then it is getting your students to submit homework on time. Comparing the two, job of a teacher is harder. That’s because the worker has fear of getting fired, while a student is not.
Imagine firing a student from school just because he submitted his/ her homework late thrice. The school will soon be running out of its students then. As this is not possible, you as a teacher would need to come up with ways to get your students interested in their subject. An interested pupil will complete his/her homework well in time.
Assessing the root of the problem
If you have students submitting homework late, then we need to get to the root of their problem as to why is this happening-

  1. First, you need to assess the level of your pupils in class. Maybe there might be a section of students who are academically weak. Hence, they would definitely be doing homework difficult. If they are very young say 10-12 years old, teach them the value of punctuality. Firms hand on students above 15 years of age.
  1. Are you able to reach out to your students with your way of teaching? I had two math teachers in the eighth grade. One of the teachers, Mr. Cooper was quite a formidable fellow and he had the knack to turn even a simple lesson into something complex. Result – most of the students would find themselves distracted within 5 minutes of the lesson.

Luckily for us, a teacher left the school and we had a much jolly fellow as our new math teacher. He used history, sometimes a slide show and other creative methods to get us hooked. This way of teaching was extremely beneficial for the weaker students. What seemed complex months ago, we could solve that in a jiffy. Nobody missed his class and we made sure to get the math homework done in time.

  1. Another way of getting students interested is by storytelling. It was a history class on the Egyptian civilization. Instead of beginning the lesson right away, she began with the movie ‘The Mummy’ asked us to view our opinions about the movie. Slowly, the class proceeded to what were the chief attractions in Egypt. Time flew by and the lesson came to an end. The homework handed was to make a report on the pyramids of Giza to be submitted in a week. The class discussion had us so aroused that we students continued the discussion even though it was break.

Even subjects like math have great stories to tell that would definitely catch the attention of entire class.
Submitting before the deadline
Till now we looked into ways of capturing the student’s interest in homework. Now we discuss ways to actually get them to submit before the deadline especially if there are procrastinators in the class.
A procrastinator is a person who leaves everything – studies work, household chores and anything else way until the last moment. You as a teacher have to handle them firmly.

  1. Penalty:

Impose a penalty on all the late submissions.

  • Inform them firmly that delayed submissions may lead to a deduction in the overall homework score.
  • If they find themselves submitting after thedeadline, they must explain themselves to you. If the reasons seem satisfactory, allow late submission. If not, take them to thetask.
  • If repeated more than a certain number of times, then hand out detentions, make them write aline or even call their parents to school. Punishments can vary depending on the policy and regulations followed in the school.
  • Counseling them becomes necessary. Address the class on theimportance of punctuality. Especially while being in a job. Getting work done on time is essential in every workplace. A procrastinator will always have a danger of getting fired even if he is excellent in his work.
  1. Incentives:

Reward incentives to those who submit homework way before the deadline. It could be an extra benefit during the oral tests or class participation. This benefit might actually compel students to do better and hand over homework in time.

  1. Have a secret deadline:

Do not divulge this to your student but it is always good to have a secret deadline. This means that deadline for the class is at 12 pm while actually you have kept it a 5pm deadline.

  • Call those students to your room who exceed the 12pm Speak to them firmly as to why they couldn’t do it on time.
  • Then give them a time limit within which they must submit. Secretly, between you and me they are well within the deadline. (Secret Smile).
  1. Make yourself approachable:

My teacher Mr. Cooper was solely concerned with collecting his paycheck. So, he never encouraged students to contact them in thecase of doubt. Please do not do so.

  • Have a feedback session at theend of every class to understand how well did the students understand.
  • If your students are having difficulty in understanding the topic, then you can either arrange a separate extra class or repeat the topic once again in regular classes so that doing homework is simplified.

Communication is the key. If you are able to establish a good connection with your class, you shall definitely get a good response. Not only in terms of homework submission but also you can expect a good performance even in their tests. Punishment is a must for all wrongdoers because as the popular saying goes – ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.
It’s a must that students understand soon that all steps you are taking are only beneficial for them. And in the end, punctuality and sincerity are some of the virtues that would take them far in life.
In the end, it’s all a cocktail of communication, a little manipulation, detention and voila! You begin to get all submissions right on time.


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