I think sometimes we underestimate the importance of the general things in life. As a teacher, we become used to certain parts of the day, one them being The Bell! It signals the start of things and it signals the end of things. When a schedule changes, the bells can get a bit awkward and sometimes it turns into clock-watching and constant worrying that you are going to let the kids out too late or they're going to get class too early.
Today was one of those days. We had a shortened class schedule, because at the end of the day our school was having a whole school activity hour (or so) to celebrate great school behavior. A behavioral incentive celebration of sorts. I am always asked to run a game room in the media center and then other staff volunteer to come in and help supervisor. I usually get them to play games... or the students get them to play games.
Typically I wander around and assist in quick-teaches or I might even get sucked into a game briefly. This year, though, I thought I'd run a Werewolf game. So we went into the Literacy Lounge, which is attached to the Media Center (Library) and started playing. Well... I was counting on a bell to tell us the day had ended. We didn't notice people leaving the larger media center and I had not looked at the clock for 4 minutes and realized we were 3 minutes over the bell.
No big deal, right? Nope! Some of the buses leave REALLY early and one of my students ended up missing her bus. Oh my goodness my heart was broken... We were able to fix the situation, but I realized how much I relied on the bell to help remind me of things.
So at the end of a week full of just, absolutely horrendous things... one thing I can say I am very thankful for are the bells to help mark the passing of the day.