{solsc} 13/31 #sol18 To Bell or Not to Bell?

I'm having one of those days today. I just don't think I have anything to write about. I've been procrastinating, freewriting, daydreaming. Nothing. I'm taking Jennifer Laffin's Word of the Day again and writing. Today's word is BELL.

I suppose people outside of education imagine something different when they hear the word BELL. But as a teacher, when I see the word, I hear the sound.

To me, it's always been a harsh, strident sound. Not the way I wanted to start a class or end it.

A few years ago, our bell system went kerplooey, and, rather than replace it for more money than it was worth, our building went without bells.

I loved it.

We started class in a more soothing way. Come in, find your seat, and read or write (depended on the class) for ten minutes. I often joined in with the kids. Yes. I had a few who tried to come in really late, using the no bell excuse. It didn't fly. I generally didn't have to get after kids more than once.

We transitioned smoothly into each activity and were often surprised when we heard other students in the hallway moving to their next class. And yes. I had kids who tried to line up at the door five minutes before they were supposed to leave. Again. I made it clear I dismissed the class and we went by the time on my computer. I usually didn't have much trouble. Kids liked the flow of the class too and didn't want to ruin it.

I didn't need the bells.
The kids didn't need the bells.
But others did.
So the bells are back.

But at least they aren't the harsh, strident ones of my nightmares. These new bells sound similar to the NBC chimes.

And I can live with that.


  1. Teachers do have a different take on that word. Too bad the bells are back, but at least they are not as annoying.

  2. Somehow I thought it had to do with Chloe, but dogs don't get belled, just cats and cows, right? We just had a bell to begin and end the school day. like that your new bells are more melodic.

  3. Not being a teacher, the word "bell" reminds me of the chimes from a church steeple reminding everyone the top of the hour. I'm sure the silence was good.

  4. I wish I had been able to teach without those bells. The atmosphere would have been so much more peaceful for learning.

  5. I could deal without the bells too. There is still an expectation of being on time, but the real world doesn't have bells! :)

    1. Exactly. Adults know they have to be on time. Of course, I guess some places have time clocks.

  6. Our bell system goes kaplooey all the time. It's frustrating. I actually like having bells because we have Mormon seminary students to deal w/ and other teachers who'd let the kids our half an hour early w/out bells.

  7. I hate bells. I am a big believer in soft starts, like you talk about with ten minutes of reading or writing. (We start with twenty minutes of reading.) Bells ruin that. Thankfully ours are only at the beginning and end of the day, but they won't stay on time! Through the course of the week, we lose about 15 seconds per day until it rings a full minute earlier on Thursday and Friday. So strange!

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