Buses Don’t Arrive That Soon After the Bell

Never underestimate the power of having them stay after class. I’ve forgotten how much students hate that.

It’s the last period of the day, and my kids are out of control. Rather than continue yelling over their talking, I quietly announce that it’s wasting my time will cost them a minute after class. By the time it gets to four minutes, the talkers are quiet.

Things go smoothly until the bell rings. I stand in front of the door, and one of my testiest and most talkative students confronts my now firmly established authority.

“I have a bus to catch.”

“I don’t care. Sit down.”

“I won’t.”

“Maybe four minutes after the bell wasn’t enough. Let’s make it five minutes. Now, sit down.”

“I won’t sit down. I have a bus. I hope you’re giving me a ride or something, because I’m going to miss my bus.”

“Five minutes it is.” I direct my attention to the rest of the class. “Hey, guys? Maybe you should convince her to sit down?”

They groan in such a way that she acquiesces. Halfheartedly leaning against her desk, her posterior nonetheless makes contact.

I’ll consider that sitting.

I lectured them for a bit, and then I let them stew for a few minutes before I let them go. My master teacher thought it a wonderful move, at least.

Moral of the story? Two drops of keeping them past the bell plus a dash of peer pressure is a recipe for success. Add humiliation to taste.


  1. LOL…as one who is not a teacher but a parent, I say—bring it! That bell is a magical thing…thanks for sharing.

  2. JT

    Wow…you’re mean! I would like, so totally hate you if I was (or is it were?) in that class!

  3. Being nice and being an effective teacher are not always the same thing.

  4. joolz

    I totally agree mine have no concern about being three minutes past the bell when we are hnding out birthday treats and none miss the bus ergo they won’t miss it during a three minute punishment either

  5. Kids like making excuses.

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