Attendance is a useful tool for managing the process of belt testing and promotions. Of course, we are not advocating for lowering standards or using rank inflation. Definitely not. But using attendance as a guide makes managing belt testing easier and ensures students are ready to test and test when they are ready.
Using Attendance to Signal Test Preparedness
To make sure students test when they should, instructors can run attendance reports to look for preparedness. For example, you can set up guidelines like:
When a student has been in attendance X number of hours, they should be ready for the next belt test.
Using Attendance to Monitor Skill Attainment
Sometimes students need a little extra coaching. But in bigger schools with several instructors and multiple classes a day, it’s hard always to identify this need. To make sure each student gets enough coaching to be ready for the next test, instructors can use attendance as a baseline skill guide.
For example, you can set up guidelines like:
The average student masters a certain skill within X number of hours.
Then instructors can run a report to identify students who are not quite where they should be. Normally, a little extra coaching is all that’s needed for a student to master the skill and stay engaged. Of course, with younger students the process is less about mastering a specific skill and more about just staying interested in learning.
Either way, the worst-case scenario is for a student to become frustrated because they aren’t where they want and need to be as they prepare for a belt test. When that happens, students lose interest in training and are in danger of leaving the school.
Student engagement depends on your ability to continually provide a new challenge while also demonstrating their progress. Since engagement and retention are directly linked, we think attendance should matter very much in the process of belt promotions.