This being the week of Thanksgiving also meant that we had Parent/Teacher Conferences and a single session day on Wednesday. On single session days I, the school clerk, get to control the dismissal bells. I also get to make any announcements regarding the bus order, which was the case on Wednesday. I got a call from Transportation alerting us that our normally late bus, Bus 5, would be early, and our regular buses, Bus 20 and 24, would be late. This meant letting the staff and students know what the changes were. How to keep that from being confusing!
So, before it was time for the first bell, I picked up the mike and made the announcement. I thought it was pretty clear, but the teachers with bus duty who were waiting in the office were commenting about whether or not that was going to be understood. These are 3rd, 4th, and 5th students we're dealing with.
I looked around – the principal was not in the office – so I said "do you want me to make sure" – they said "yes".
Mike in hand again -
"This is a test. (Pause)
Those of you who ride on bus 5 raise your hand. (Pause)
Now look at your teacher and tell them which bell you're using today. (Pause) (Pause)
The correct answer is the first bell."
And with laughter in the background, I pulled the bell.
We only had one misguided bus 20 student who came down at the first bell and no missed buses for the day. It worked!
When the teachers came to sign out some of them were chuckling about that "test". One fourth grade teacher said that one of his students went pale and said "she can't see us, can she", to which he calmly said, "if I were you and on bus 5, I'd raise my hand."