Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Death By Cell Phone

I have finally made it to my half way mark of student teaching.  Couldn't be more happy.  However, I still have about 29 more days left and if anything is going to kill me quickly it will be these DAMN cell phones in the classroom.  I know, I just said a bad word.  But, my gads, these cell phones in the High School is down right ridiculous!  What 9th through 12th grader actually needs a cell phone - okay they may have one, but why do they need them during school?  And since I am on this little rant, why the HECK do they need a smart phone?

About a week ago I got into an argument with a student about texting.  The student was right in front of me as I was teaching - plain as day!  Hey student, why you are on your phone texting why don't you look up an app called RESPECT!  Sheesh?  I stop what I was doing and ask the student out right, "Really?"  Then I said, "Give me your phone."  Within a few seconds later the student right next to my previous student texting pulls out their phone to check the time (or so they tell me)?!?!  Because you know, schools apparently don't have clocks in the classroom anymore???  I stop and ask, "really?"  I continued teaching, and am not happy.  Then after class the student comes to me to get their phone back.  I was not about to give it back.  Disappointingly I gave the phone back and was not happy about it one i-o-ta!  Beforehand, as I was arguing with with the student I say it is rude and disrespectful to be texting as I am teaching, and I mention that they aren't even suppose to have their cell phones in class.  (School handbook states that cell phones are not permitted in the class unless otherwise specified.  And, I'm pretty sure that as I am teaching sewing a cell phone is NOT needed.)  As we are continuing to argue until we are both blue in the face the teacher aid of the class steps in to back a sister up.  Bless her!  Needless to say, both I and the teacher aid lose the battle and the phone goes back to the student.  BOO!  Not happy.

Two days go by.  I lose sleep.  I get myself all worked up about these cell phones being in school that I want to do something, but I don't know what to do!  I decided the only thing I can do is before I start teaching class I will have to say something.  I talk to one of my mentor teachers, and she tells me she can say something, or I can say something.  We both agree it would be better for me to say something since this is (for the time being) my class.  The night before my class I am in such a tizzy about the cell phones that I figure the only way to vent my frustration is to pull out some good old fashion paper and write down my feelings.  Oh I was fuming mad, and it showed in my writing, but boy did I release some anger.  The next day I walk into my second period sewing class and I pull out the speech (not the one I wrote down because that was very anger filled).  I know what you are thinking?  I let them have it!  I did, but I was still nice...at the end.  I got stern with them and told them all that I was sick and tired of having to take cell phones away everyday.  It was rude and disrespectful of them to even have their cell phone out as I, or anyone else is teaching.  I also said that if I have to take any more cell phones I will take them to the office and they can decide at the office what to do.  All you have to say is "take it to the office" and they know I mean business.  Then at the very end of my little speech I apologized to the students in my class who do not bring their cell phone to class or do, but don't take it out during my teaching.  Then with a bat of an eye I was on to my demonstration and the speech time was over, and sadly, forgotten.  Because guess what I took from a student the very next time we met?  A cell phone.  I think the poor student almost cried.  Because number one, they felt bad, and number two, I was very stern and told the student I did not expect this from them.
Seriously - if a student is going to text get it right!
I know, I know.  This all sounds so mean, but seriously, you try teaching and have the distraction of cell phone use going on.  Not cool!  Especially when I have spent a lot of time preparing to teach just to be interrupted by ones cell phone.  Why can't the state of Utah jump on the cool bus like the state of New York and ban cell phones from the schools???  Hmmm???

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Think of this like valet parking for your car. Students in New York City have valet parking for their phones. Cell phones are banned in New York schools, but students cannot bear to be without them on the subway ride to school and back. So entrepreneurs have been parking trucks near the schools. And there you can leave your phone for a dollar a day - or about $180 per year. The minute school is out students can go back to texting or being baffled by those new Apple maps. It's MORNING EDITION.
Copyright © 2012 National Public Radio. 
I will continue to take students cell phones, and just hope that if anything comes from me taking their phones it will be that they learn a little bit of respect.  However, before I finish this little rant I want to talk to the parents of these cell phone using students.  Why the heck are you texting your students in school?  That is the number one thing I hear from students the minute I take their cell phone - "My Mom was texting me!"  I say, "Your Mom can text?  Cool, but why the heck is she texting you?  Doesn't she know you are in school?  Come on???"

It's almost over in the student teaching world, (PRAISE THE GOOD LORD ABOVE) and I think I can manage to deal with cell phones for 29 more days...but if I can't...well you will know it was a "death by cell phone."  Put that one on my headstone!

Oh P.S.
Guess who joined the cool kids and got herself an iPhone/Smartphone.  Yours truly...the girl who pretends to suck spaghetti.  So appropriate for a blog post on how much I hate cell phones in the school.  Ha! ;)