Tips for Walking in the Hall Quietly
June 27, 2013
When I first started teaching, a mentor showed me some good ways to line the class up and walk that I've used ever since.
One of our classroom jobs is the Tapper. This person finds classmates who have their desks cleaned up, their heads down and are quiet. They gently tap each person on the shoulder to let them know to line up (only skipping anyone who isn't ready yet). Our Line Leader and Door Holder go right to the front of the line. When we're ready and I give the signal, the Line Leader opens the door, the Door Holder turns out the lights, and silence happens. (Be firm and consistent, and silence really does happen!)
At my signal, the Line Leader takes the class to the first stopping point in the hall. Then it only takes a quiet word or a pointing finger to move the class to the next stopping point. Set up your stopping points before the first day of school: choose readily identifiable "landmarks" in your hallways (the corner of the wall, "the end of the blue handrail," "the red box on the wall" [the fire extinguisher box], etc. Each place should keep the line in your sight. When the class goes through a door that needs to be held, the Door Holder does it for everyone and then goes to the end of the line (instead of racing the class up the hall!). If there's a second door to be held sometimes, the second child in line just acts as a substitute Door Holder.
This system allows the teacher to walk beside the line, drifting forward or back as needed to supervise students. However, be sure not to enter into conversations with students as you walk! It's hard, but tell even those with good questions to save it until you arrive. Then you can deal with it quickly as the other children settle at your destination.