How To Get Your Class To Line Up in 45 Easy Steps

Not every teacher knows how to get their class to line up, and that’s OK! Between squirrelly children and numerous distractions, lining them up can be a feat. But don’t worry—we’ve got your game plan right here.

  1. Say, “OK, cats and kittens! It’s time to line up for the library.”
  2. Watch as all but four of your students start crawling on the floor and meowing.
  3. Say, “Ah. Wrong choice of words. Human students! Please line up for the library.”
  4. Say, “Jasmine, please stop cleaning Ava’s ears with your paw.”
  5. Say, loudly, “WE ARE DONE BEING CATS.”
  6. Say, “Yes, Wyatt,” since Wyatt is raising his hand.
  7. Thank Wyatt for sharing that his cousin adopted a cat last month.
  8. Have a brief side consultation with Jackson, this week’s line leader, who’d like to renegotiate his Line Leader contract as this Friday is early dismissal, thus curtailing his Line Leader net worth.
  9. Observe that several students are gathered by the window, chattering excitedly.
  10. Say, “We’re lining up for the library.”
  11. Observe that none of the window students turn around.
  12. Watch as the rest of your line disintegrates to check out what the window students are looking at.
  13. Sigh.
  14. Go over to the window yourself and gasp.
  15. Assure students that it’s a fake snake outside eating a fake mouse.
  16. Go over to the class phone and whisper to Denise at the front office that there is a s-n-a-k-e swallowing a m-o-u-s-e outside your classroom window and ask if someone can remove it.
  17. Thank Jacob for announcing to the class exactly what you whisper-spelled into the phone.
  18. Say, “OK, let’s try this again. Everyone line up for the library!”
  19. Inwardly pat yourself on the back as you watch your class line up.
  20. Count to make sure you have all 27 students. You only have 26.
  21. Count again. 26.
  22. Ask the class, “Who are we missing?”
  23. Close your eyes and breathe through your nose when at least four students say, “I’m not here!”
  24. Tie Caleb’s shoe upon request and wonder why Caleb’s mom doesn’t send him in Velcro shoes.
  25. Realize the missing student is Charlotte. Charlotte, a known runner and miscreant.
  26. Poke your head out into the hall to see if you see Charlotte.
  27. Panic.
  28. Call Denise at the front office again and say, “No, no. This isn’t about the mouse. One of my students must have run off and I can’t find her. Charlotte. Yes, the one the PE teacher chased a full block down the road last year. Thanks.”
  29. Ask your partner teacher if she can listen in on your class while you go look for Charlotte.
  30. Before you leave, note that most of the class has returned to the window to watch snake lunch.
  31. Check the bathrooms.
  32. Check the cafeteria.
  33. Check the playground.
  34. Go back to the classroom to check on your class and partner teacher.
  35. Try not to cry when a student says, “Charlotte’s mom picked her up to go to the dentist earlier. Remember?”
  36. Thank and dismiss your partner teacher.
  37. Answer your ringing classroom phone.
  38. Explain to the librarian that, yes, you are still coming today.
  39. Say, a little snappier than you intended, “EVERYONE LINE UP!!!”
  40. Just as you’re about to leave, unleash a blood-curdling scream upon looking up and seeing a dark figure outside your classroom window.
  41. You laugh, a little too maniacally, realizing it’s the school groundskeeper re-homing the snake. You’ve lost your line again.
  42. Give up and join the entire class at the window.
  43. As you all crowd around the window watching the removal of the fattened snake, think to yourself, “This is nice. We’re bonding.”
  44. After the groundskeeper has left with his snake bucket, say, “OK. Last one to get in line AND the first person to talk BOTH have purple earwax! Ready, go!”
  45. Marvel at your ingenuity.

(Can you tell that I only taught at the elementary level for a year?)

What’s your trick for getting students to line up? Let us know in the comments.

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