… school bells?
I don’t know. This may end up being a poll of some sorts.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day over coffee and the topic somehow turned to school bells.
He was quite shocked when I let him know that I taught in a school that didn’t use school bells! Yes, it had a bell and a rather sophisticated unit to synchronize all the clocks in the school and program the bells. But, we never used them. I’m told that it was the philosophy of our principal.
- Bells don’t dismiss classes; teachers dismiss classes
- Students need the discipline to know that they need to be in class on time
- Universities and colleges didn’t have bells so we need to prepare kids for that environment
Now, I taught in a secondary school so there was no playing in the playground outside before school. Students just trudged into the building from their buses!
In fact, it wasn’t until the first fire drill that I actually heard the bell and it scared the heck out of me. I’d never heard it ring before.
Later, as a consultant visiting the school, I noticed that the new principal had a different philosophy and there were bells all over the place. Before and at the end of classes and the five minute warning that you had to get into class.
In my elementary school, we did have bells. In fact, our classroom had a door in the front that led into the principal’s office. I guess it was designed for the teaching principal. Ours taught us Mathematics. As a result, the door was always open in case he had a visitor. It was a nice distraction at times.
There was a button on the wall that, when pressed, would ring the bell. It was a real treat when it was your turn to go and press it. We had this secret pact among us to see if we could actually let everyone out for lunch early!
Let’s check in for a Sunday.
- Did you go to a school where bells signalled the start and stop of everything?
- Do you have bells in your current school and use them?
- Do you remember a bell or a buzzer?
- Or maybe it’s a bit of a song that plays to give a kinder, gentler approach to being on time?
- Can you remember you or your students being “done early” and have to sit there waiting for the bell to ring?
- What is the procedure when the bell rings during a test? Is it automatically over?
I’d enjoy people checking in with your realities. Please do so in the comments.
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