Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cell Phones In School



You are teaching a class. You look out. Thumbs are moving. You say "Put away your cell phone." No problem. Right? No big deal.

You are teaching a class. You look out. Thumbs are moving. You say "Give me your cell phone now. I will give it to your administrator. Your parent will have to come up to school and pick it up." Bigger deal.

You are teaching a class. You look out. Thumbs are moving. You say "Go to the principal's office. You are being suspended. You know cell phones are against policy." Big deal.

Here is the problem. All the above scenarios are played out every day in high schools or maybe middle schools in the USA as almost every student has a cell phone in his pocket. School administrators are trying to figure this out. Make a big deal or not? You probably say "Not". Consider that it is easy to text answers to a test to a friend across the room or to a friend down the hall or across town or to your child. It is easy to text mom to come rescue you every time there is something to deal with at school. It is easy to bully with texting. It is easy for texting to turn into sexting. It is easy to start rumors with texting. It is easy to break up with texting.

So schools deal with this differently. Do we want phones going off in class? No. Do we want kids "having to go to the bathroom right now" because their phone vibrated? Do we want the high shrill tones ringing that teachers can't hear but that hurt other students' ears?

All of this is why, once more and always, the teacher is THE MOST important element in the classroom. The respect and rapport the students and teachers have with each other is the best way to keep this phone issue under control. That's what I think. What do you think?

14 comments:

  1. well mss sandra,
    we never had no such problem in my skool, we even had to go to that new enclossed booth and wait with dime in hand just to make a call.
    on a modern note is'nt there a way to jam the signal?

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  2. Well I tell you what Bob, things have royally changed. I used the dime too but it's a new world. This is actually quite an issue in high schools today. and they Almost all kids have phones. Many of them sneak them out during class....they think you don't see them but it's pretty obvious.

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  3. My teacher took up my cell phone yesterday. I am in trouble. I had to call my dad at work and he had to come from his work and get my phone and he was so mad. My BF was mad at me and was texting so Ihad to look. Now my teacher is mad and won't like me and I'll probaly fail.
    Jamie

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  4. Dear Jamie,
    You will get your phone back. Just don't have it out at school again. Tomorrow is a new day. Just start over. Teachers don't hold grudges. Your teacher is not mad at you. You are not going to fail if you do all your work and ask for help if you don't understand something. You might want to apologize to your teacher because he was only doing what he is supposed to do when he sees a cell phone in class. You don't HAVE to apologize but I think it would be a good idea. Let me know how it goes.
    Mrs. W.

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  5. I taught high school art for 3 years before being a SAHM. cell phone are a HUGE issue. while trying to take up a phone during lunch one day the student told me his MOM was on the phone and wanted to talk to me. HIS MOM!!! that is the issue...MANY times the person calling is the parent. the mom begged me not to take his phone b/c blah blah blah. kids can text with their phones in their pockets now...they dont even have to look at the keys. if a student was constantly on the phone or it was a daily event then i took the phone up. however, if it was a rare event i tried to ignore it b/c i felt they probably had a reason. our school's policy was to take phones up and parents had to pick them up. bottom line...quit letting kids use excuses. parents let them use too many excuses of why they MUST have a cell phone so they expect teachers to give in also. we all survived going to the office phone for an emergency...they will survive too. sorry such a long comment...

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  6. definitely no cell phones in class! if there's emergency there's always phones in the office. bob's idea is pretty good - couldn't them jam the signal?

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  7. mss sandra,
    we do truly, here in this old shack, appreciate all you teachers.
    i may have mentioned you in may last blog post,dang it hope you don't gey upset.

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  8. Heather Nicole,
    Thanks for your thoughtful post. Every single thing you say is true. It is a challenging issue and every teacher will handle it their own way within school policy. You just have to use your own judgment.
    Sandra

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  9. Sarah,
    Thanks for your comments. I am hearing more and more about scrambling signals in classroom. I don't personally have experience in that but I am going tolook into it. I'll be n that topic soon.
    Sandra

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  10. Bob,
    Glad to be part of the posse! Love backyard bar-b-ques!
    Thanks for the mention.
    Sandra

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  11. I WISH we would have had cell phones when I was in high school - I would have made major money b/c more people could have cheated off my answers heck - the whole school! LOL! Actually now - a - days I guess they can take credit card payments! HAHA! JK!!! Def No phones in class - why cant they leave them in the locker - then if they need to call during change they can?! I dont see any reason a student would need a celly while they're in class?!

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  12. Thanks Penelope! That's just it...they DON'T need a celly in class but they can't stand to part with them so they will sneak them in...no matter what.

    Love your site! You are so good at what you do!
    Sandra

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  13. Sandra - I don't know that this is correct: "the teacher is THE MOST important element in the classroom".

    I have one unbreakable rule: The most important thing in my classroom is the students' learning. Very few students object to such a rule and all other issues - like cell phone use - are covered by it.

    Here's something to observe next time you are at a teachers' meeting: how many teachers are busily texting or having "urgent bathroom breaks"?

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  14. Hi Zac, You are right that we all text and "run to the br" on occasion. It's all in how it is handled. Learning IS the most important thing and I believe the rapport and respect between teacher and student determines how that goes.

    Thanks for dropping by. Love your hair!
    Sandra

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Love to hear your thoughts! What do you think?