I love my students. They are so much fun sometimes. But getting them to walk in an orderly fashion to lunch might as well be herding cats.
“Single file,” I say to one girl.
“This is single file,” the girl answers.
I explain that walking next to your friend does not qualify as single file.
She smiles at me and sidles a bit to the right, closer to her friend.
“Single file,” I repeat.
The girls smile and give in, one moving behind the other.
But if I shift my position in line and go back to work on another chatty couple, the girls will return to their original positions, like cats jumping up onto the counter when their human walks out of the room.
Eduhonesty: Perhaps we should eliminate a few rules. Who cares if they go single file? No teacher in this school is winning the single-file game. Some are losing much more dramatically than I am. It seems best not to impose rules that are difficult to enforce when so little benefit is derived from good results.
On the other hand, these hallways were genuinely unsafe a few years ago. The rule is serving a purpose. Surely, though, we can find a medium between single-file with no talking and throngs of random students caroming off one another like starving, lunch-bound bumper cars.