There are some tips and tricks in school education that you learn to dismiss, and some you wish were engraved in an educational tablet. This tip is one you need to keep: YOU dismiss THEM. I cannot stress how much time, effort and headache this little has saved me.
Gone are the days when teachers dismissed students.
Now the School Bell rules over all. Forget the bell. It’s your class. You need to squash that Behaviorist response to the bell, when thirty kids jump up at once.
At the beginning of every year, I usually spend the first fifteen to twenty minutes going over procedures and practices in my class.
The first is dismissal: I dismiss them. Most are not used to that and a few whine or protest, but be firm. Cave the first day and the rest of the year will be nothing but compromise, with you constantly losing.
When the bell rings, they stay seated until you say otherwise.
Simple enough to understand, but kids are smart, and they know weakness in that first day means another rule that is quickly established and as quickly forgotten, just like school IDs, attendance issues, cell phone use and dress codes. Taking away a student’s smartphone today is almost unimaginable. My, my how the world has changed, especially in technology.
What do you do to enforce this dismissal rule? Simple. Just before the bell rings, make your way to the door. Stand in front of it, blocking the exit. It would take a suicidal brave student to physically move a teacher away from a door (a student like that wouldn’t last in a regular classroom anyway).
For the first week or two, stand in front of the door before the bell.
After that, students will learn to look to YOU when the bell rings instead of launching out of the room. Believe me, that is a pleasant feeling. Besides that fuzzy feeling, you can almost guarantee any administrator that sees a seated class even AFTER the bell is sure to happily renew your contract next year. Classroom management counts more than curriculum and more than mastering technology. Keep the class quiet, in control and learning.