Using "School Bells" in the Meetinghouse

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Post by nmecantwin73 »

I would like to see the "school bell" replaced with a more digital "bell tower" sounding bell that might play short hymn intros -- like the first four notes of 'Come, Come Ye Saints' or something like that... It would be less obnoxious, and wouldn't make you jump out of your shoes if you're standing underneath the "bells" in the hallway... ;)
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Post by rmrichesjr »

techgy wrote:I recall an instructor in our Hp Quorum years ago who used to remove his watch and lay it on the table in front of him. It would act as a reminder of the time and since it was on the table instead of on his wrist, it was more visible and he could check the time w/o being so obvious. It apparently worked for him.
That plan works quite well for me when I am asked to teach in elders quorum meeting.
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Post by kcowolf »

njcant1 wrote:I would like to see the "school bell" replaced with a more digital "bell tower" sounding bell that might play short hymn intros -- like the first four notes of 'Come, Come Ye Saints' or something like that... It would be less obnoxious, and wouldn't make you jump out of your shoes if you're standing underneath the "bells" in the hallway... ;)
I was telling my dad exactly the same thing a couple of weeks ago, but my suggested tune was the first two bars of "The Time is Far Spent". :)
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Post by chchstake-p40 »

My personal view on this is not to use a bell system as it distracts the lesson. We don't use any bells in our Branch. I think it really comes down to training teachers to be more conscious of time and how to handle time appropriately. Having a clock on the wall easily viewable for the teacher is a definite must and is the most effective way that we have found to work. I think there will always be times when classes will go over time depending on people sharing testimonies or wrapping up the lesson regardless of whether you use a bell system or not.

Sacrament Meetings are a good example of how to effectively manage the time. The Bishop or person conducting should really be conscious of time to effectively manage that the fast and testimony meetings end at an appropriate time or don't go over too much. Obviously they don't have a school bell that goes off 1hr & 10mins after the start of sacrament meeting, but they rely on members understanding roughly how much time they have to share their testimonies and then do their best to adhere to the time. The same principle could apply to sunday school meetings etc. If the members and teacher all are aware of when the class is due to finish, they can all assist in ensuring that the class finishes roughly on time.

I guess summing up, I think it is ultimately down to the teacher to recognize when time is up. This maybe something that the Sunday School President could help teachers become better at doing. If they are unable to do that on a regular basis, then I think the other suggestions like having a clock watcher is a good idea. I think though that most sunday school meetings I have attended throughout the years from various teachers is that you will never get a consistency of closing exactly on time each Sunday.

Good luck! :)
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Post by MorettiDP »

All of us know Brazilian people are easy to talk and to make friends. Since that, some classes have problems with time in some places. All meetinghouses built from 1960 to 2000 +/- has a bell system in it, but since that time, Church Property Department don't install it anymore. Some traditional wards and stakes still uses this system, but the majority don't use by now. I'm called an Assistant Ward Clerk ten years ago when I'm only a Teacher in Aaronic Priesthood, and worked in clerical callings since that. Always I serve as Ward Clerk, Assistant Clerk or Executive Clerk I have the call to ring the bell five minutes before class end. I love to do it, but I know the bishop of the other ward in the building don't like, because usually the first bell ring is put in function on his the sacrament passing time.
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Post by jdcr256 »

I've not heard anything official, but I'd guess that a bell has been deemed too intrusive by someone in charge. Our ward (northern Utah county) has been in 4 brand new buildings over the last 4 years, and not one of them had a bell system installed. I'm assuming that means that bells have been officially excluded from all new construction.

Incidentally, with the rare exception, none of our classes goes over the allotted time.
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Post by CM7316-p40 »

We are in a rapidly growing area and have been in two brand new buildings in a row. Neither have bells.

I never minded them. It seemed much more efficient than having an already busy Primary Secretary walk to each and every classroom to say "5 minutes left." I agree with the other posts that every large room should have a large clock on the wall facing the teacher.

But I do have to say that no matter what system you use, there will always be people who end on time and those who don't.
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Post by blaineg »

A while back, I encouraged our Sunday School President (a former bishop himself) to do away with the bell ringing. To me, they are more disruptive than anything else I've experienced (well, except for the occasional medical emergency) at church.

While we've occasionally had problems with teachers going over, I think we used to have more problems both with less than diligent bell ringers, and with teachers somehow ignoring the bells.

The Sunday School Presidency has worked to train the teachers and class presidents on being mindful of the time.
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Post by bryanwilson »

We had a 6 stake auxiliary training meeting this last Saturday with members of the Primary, Relief Society, and Young Women's General Presidencies in attendance with a member of the Seventy presiding. We were in a new stake center that was only recently completed and the member of the Seventy used the bell system to keep everyone on schedule. Also, my own ward religiously uses our bell to end both Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society.
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Post by Velska »

I've been teaching and training teachers. It's fairly easy to learn the habit of being aware of the time.

There are some classrooms where there's no wall clock, and it's up to the teacher to be aware of time in a way that doesn't distract. Often quite doable.

Our current old mtghouse has the bell system, and it seems the bells are disregarded for a lot of the time. Except in Primary.

I'd rather do away with it, but naturally I'm only a Clerk, so I don't decide.

Go figure! ;)
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