Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Read the Small Print

I have a habit of not reading the small print and it messes me up some time.

In May we bought a $50 gift card for Panera Bread and got a $10 bonus card with it. We thought that was great. Then last week I went to use the bonus card and didn’t notice the small print at the bottom that it was only good for June. That means I lost the bonus card money!

We shop a lot at Publix and each week they put items on sale for buy one get one free. I get up to the cashier and I don’t get the sale price. When I insist it was on sale, they check and find out that the kind I picked up was excluded in the sale. It says so in the small print.

Sometimes I try to use coupons that I get in the mail or save from a sale paper but when I use it, they aren’t valid. In the small print, it gives a date it expires or it says a specific size I have to get.

I worry that sometimes I teach my students and unknown to them, there is small print that they need to know about. I sometimes think they should know what is expected but they really don’t.

I started going through my syllabus and looking for the “small print.” Then I go about making it bold print or underlining it or making the font bigger.

Small print items include due dates, penalties, and requirements. I also review these things at least once a month going over the upcoming due dates and reminding them of penalties and requirements.

I want my students to know upfront what I want from them. I don’t want any surprises down the road where they feel they didn’t know about something or feel like I’m setting a trap for them to fail.  I think this will help them be more successful.

What do you consider “small print” in your classroom? How do you help your students read the “small print?” Please share.

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