The teacher does not start the class. The bell does not start the class. You start the class!
This is most definitely not the way I have ran my classroom before. Oh, I've always had bellwork up on the board when they enter. And, this past year, I started posting the daily supplies. But, my classroom tends to be a loud, distracting place. I have a terrible time getting students to stop talking and listen to directions. And, I'm tired of fighting that battle. I'm tired of my 5th period class coming in and telling me that they knew my 2nd hour must not have minded well because they could hear me screaming across the hall.
This is going to be really hard for me. It's especially going to be a hard transition for my Algebra 2 students that I had in class two years ago for Algebra 1. I have a feeling they are not going to like the new and improved Ms. Hagan. Oh well. They can get over it. I need this for my sanity. I need this to make my classroom an environment that is conducive to learning.
The bell does not dismiss the class. You do not dismiss the class. The teacher dismisses the class!
Story time. When I was in the 7th grade, I had a geography teacher named Mr. Garrett. I don't remember a ton about his class. But, I do remember his bell policy. The bell did not dismiss our class. Mr. Garrett dismissed our class. When the bell rang, we would all sit patiently, waiting for his dismissal. One time, he left the classroom a few minutes before the bell was to ring. The bell rang, and he still wasn't there. My entire class probably sat there for at least a minute. We were convinced that he was probably hiding in the hall and would get on to us when we walked out of the door for breaking his rule. Well, he wasn't hiding in the hall. And, we didn't get in trouble.
Having these policies will communicate to my students how much I value our class time. The transition is going to be rough as I try to fight against doing things the way I've always done them. It's easier to overlook student misbehavior, but I know that the dividends for these policies will pay handsomely.
Advice? I'd love to hear it!
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