Fast and the Furious 7

Sure.  I’d like to tell you that I went to see Fast and the Furious 7 because it was a means of connecting with my students through pop culture.  Sure.  I went to see it because the diverse casting mirrors my classes.  Sure.  That would sound all kinds of cerebral and stuff.  Stick with that if that works for you. Really though.  I went because there are lots of macho people driving fast cars.  Also, I was fairly certain that missing the middle three movies wouldn’t be such a big deal.  You know.  Plot-wise.  Spoiler alert:  I was right.

In one scene, the lead character said, “Formation!” into his walkie talkie.  Immediately, each one of the drivers moved into position.  Don’t you wish that your classroom was like that each day?  Especially this late in the year?!?

You could just say, “Homework in!” and be inundated with students rushing to turn in homework (with their names on the papers even!).

One way I have found to settle the class at the beginning of the period is to start as soon as the bell rings.  Students know that class will start so they are (mostly) on time.  As the bell ends, I start thanking students for behavior that I want to see (Sarah, thank you for being in your seat with your phone away).  It’s amazing how quickly the rest of the class falls into formation as they hear my voice praising classmates.

I try not to raise my voice or call out students for misbehavior because (hopefully) they are moving toward the expectation of my formation.  This usually happens fast and without me getting furious.