Skip to Content

Starting and Ending Class Posters

This is going to be the year that I master classroom management.  Okay, maybe I won’t master it.  But, I hope I won’t fail at it.  

drawing of school bell with text "starting and ending class posters"

I really liked these quotes about who starts and ends class from Harry Wong’s The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher.  So, I decided to make posters of the quotes to hang around the clock in my classroom. I’m calling these the starting and ending class posters.

Starting and Ending Class Posters from Harry Wong The First Days of School

The teacher does not start the class.  The bell does not start the class.  You start the class!

The teacher does not start the class. The bell does not start the class. You start the class. Starting and Ending Class Posters from Harry Wong The First Days of School

I want to train my students to enter my classroom quietly, look up on the SMART Board to see what supplies they will need that day, get out their needed supplies, and start the listed task as soon as they enter the classroom.  If they want to talk to a fellow student, that needs to happen before they enter my classroom.

This is most definitely not the way I have ran my classroom before.  Oh, I’ve always had bellwork up on the board when they enter.  And, this past year, I started posting the daily supplies.  But, my classroom tends to be a loud, distracting place.  I have a terrible time getting students to stop talking and listen to directions.  And, I’m tired of fighting that battle.  I’m tired of my 5th period class coming in and telling me that they knew my 2nd hour must not have minded well because they could hear me screaming across the hall.

This is going to be really hard for me.  It’s especially going to be a hard transition for my Algebra 2 students that I had in class two years ago for Algebra 1.  I have a feeling they are not going to like the new and improved Ms. Hagan.  Oh well.  They can get over it.  I need this for my sanity.  I need this to make my classroom an environment that is conducive to learning.

The bell does not dismiss the class.  You do not dismiss the class.  The teacher dismisses the class!

The bell does not dismiss the class. You do not dismiss the class. The teacher dismisses the class. Starting and Ending Class Posters from Harry Wong The First Days of School

I also want to combat students lining up at the door.  This drives me insane.

Story time.  When I was in the 7th grade, I had a geography teacher named Mr. Garrett.  I don’t remember a ton about his class.  But, I do remember his bell policy.  The bell did not dismiss our class.  Mr. Garrett dismissed our class.  When the bell rang, we would all sit patiently, waiting for his dismissal.  One time, he left the classroom a few minutes before the bell was to ring.  The bell rang, and he still wasn’t there.  My entire class probably sat there for at least a minute.  We were convinced that he was probably hiding in the hall and would get on to us when we walked out of the door for breaking his rule.  Well, he wasn’t hiding in the hall.  And, we didn’t get in trouble.

Having these policies will communicate to my students how much I value our class time.  The transition is going to be rough as I try to fight against doing things the way I’ve always done them.  It’s easier to overlook student misbehavior, but I know that the dividends for these policies will pay handsomely.

Advice?  I’d love to hear it!

Free Download of Starting and Ending Class Posters

Starting and Ending Class Posters (PDF) (532 downloads)

Want more posters to decorate your classroom? Check out my posters page!


Saturday 5th of October 2019

Thank you - so helpful! :-)


Monday 21st of September 2015

Hi Sarah,

I started the same policies this year, starting every class with bellwork. However, my students are not used to starting to work when they come in and I am having a hard time especially with my 9th grade Alg 1 class who I have right after lunch. They'll put their books down and then hang out until the bell rings, reminding each other, 'You start class!" (i.e. start working only when you want to). After sending three students for a tardy slip when they waited until the bell rang to come into the classroom so they could talk, it got a little better, but how do you get your students to start working before the bell rings (even 30 seconds or so would be great so that the class is quiet by the time the bell rings)?


Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Monday 5th of October 2015

I've settled for just having them get out all of their supplies before the bell rings. It's definitely a battle!


Saturday 9th of August 2014

The embedded posters file is blank for me also. I love this idea of hanging them for the students to see.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Monday 11th of August 2014

Monika, I'm sorry you're not able to view them. Send me an e-mail, and I'll gladly attach the files! Thanks! My e-mail is mathequalslove (at) gmail (dot) com.


Saturday 9th of August 2014

Do you explain the arrows around the clock somewhere?

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Monday 11th of August 2014

I haven't blogged about them yet :) We just got a new bell schedule this year that is going to drive me crazy. Some class periods are 52 minutes. Others are 53 minutes. Passing periods are 5 minutes. I'm used to the bell ringing on a multiple of 5. Ha ha ha. Each arrow points to where the minute hand will be when that class period is over. My high school students cannot (sadly!) read analog clocks. So, I'm hoping this will help them (and me!) adjust to the new bell schedule.

This is definitely not an original idea. I stole it from someone who stole it from someone who stole it from someone... :)


Tuesday 29th of July 2014

Sarah, First, I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your blog posts. Thank you so much for sharing! Second, thank you for being so honest in your struggles. I struggle with the same things in my classroom and since I have the same kids year after year, I find it really hard to change. I wish you luck and will be praying for you.