Parents texting students during class

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JimG, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. JimG

    JimG Companion

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    Mar 8, 2018

    It’s becoming a growing distraction, and surely it is not localized just to my classroom. Any ideas for tactfully addressing this?
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Why not ask that cell phones be turned off during class and put away?
     
  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Mar 8, 2018

    If it's HS, collect all the cell phones before class -- a bin with separate compartments or something, and then let them pick them up after class.

    Parents would typically assume they're NOT interrupting class by texting (after all, you can look at a text at any time), so they probably wouldn't refrain from doing it.

    Middle son bought himself an Apple watch, so I'm sure he's probably looking at texts during class even though the teachers collect cell phones.
     
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  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That's a major problem at my school! Perhaps I should send out a mass text asking parents to contact me with any messages when my students are here (we're a flipped school and students are only in the building part of the week). It'll cut down the chatter and make it emergency-based only.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    If phones are off and put away, it shouldn't matter when the parent texts. If you have students use their phones for class, you need to find a way to have them turn off texts from anyone.
     
  7. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    It's not a problem in our school. School wide policy is cell phones off and in backpacks during class.
     
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  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm not very tactful. Our students know that their phones are to be on silent and in their lockers. They are not to be out or accessed at any point during the day; if I see them, I take them to the office. When we find out that the kids and parents have been communicating by text during the day, the P or VP do have a conversation with both and remind them of the appropriate ways to communicate during the school day.
     
  9. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2018

    If it was an emergency they would call the school. Therefore no cell phones in class.
     
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  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I don't care who texted, if my students are looking at their phones, they risk having them confiscated. I usually give one warning and that's it. I once had a kid answer his phone in the middle of class. It was his mother. I took the phone, told the mother her child was busy in class and if she had an emergency she could contact the front office. Then I hung up. Apparently she let the secretary have an earful!
     
  11. JimG

    JimG Companion

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    Mar 8, 2018

    I know of someone that does this, but I am concerned about the liability.
     
  12. JimG

    JimG Companion

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    Yes, I already do this.

    It is a matter of student’s getting conflicting messages from two different authority figures as far as their cell phone expectations. Teachers expecting students to be off their phones but parents expecting to have instant communication with their kids any time of the school day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  13. miss-m

    miss-m Habitué

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    Mar 9, 2018

    This seems like something that needs to be addressed with parents then, even if it’s just a reminder going home that students are not to be on their phones, which can be supported by parents NOT texting their kids during school hours.
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Thankfully, I'm at the elementary (K-6) level.

    We make it very clear that cell phones can be carried in backpacks. However, they must be turned off when students walk in the front gate each morning and can be turned on when they walk out the front gate after school.

    Very rarely do we have a problem. Sometimes, the upper grade (5th-6th) teachers will have a student or two who forgets to turn off their phone and a notification goes off during class.

    Parents sign a form at the beginning of the year stating that phones will be confiscated if they're seen out of backpacks and that parents are responsible for coming to retrieve them.
     
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  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Don't collect cell phones without permission from admin. If any of the phones go missing while in your care, and it happens more often than you might think, either you or the school will be liable. If the school won't back you, it could turn out to be your expensive lesson. Just fair warning.
     
  16. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    The cell phone rule is one rule my school has that I disagree with. If they need to send a quick text to mom and dad, who cares? As long as they aren't failing my class because of it, they are discreet in what they are doing, and they are not distracting the other students, I don't understand why everyone gets so worked up about it....though I understand I'm in the minority with this position (even within my school).
     
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  17. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Our kids are supposed to have their phones on silent in my class unless they ask permission to do something on it (listening to music is the biggest thing I allow).
    The major problem I have is they start their music, but then they go to change stations, and all of the sudden they realize they have two new Snaps, four IG notifications, etc... I really have to watch them to make sure they don't fall down the rabbit hole that is a smartphone.
    Usually my last period has at least two kids who ask to text their parents to let them know they have to stay after, which I allow if they ask.

    When phones are not to be out, I enforce that. We assign demerits and take the phone to the office.
     
  18. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Yes, you're absolutely right, of course. Make sure admin accepts it. It's best if there's a written policy.
     
  19. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Mar 11, 2018

    Send an e-mail to the parents letting them know that you have a "no cellphone" policy in your class. Therefor, any text message sent to their child would not be seen during your class time. If there is an emergency then please call the school and the office can let you know to send the child down to speak to you on the office phone.

    My own kids are in high school. I text them when it works for me (prep, lunch, between periods). I figure they'll respond when they can. Might be right away if it's during class with a teacher who allows cellphone use, or might be a bit later. I don't stress about it. To me, I just care more about getting the text sent out and realize it could be a bit before I hear back. They'll text me throughout the day with random things and they know that I may not respond right away and it works just fine for us.

    I teach 6th graders and my students follow the building rule of phones in their locker. Haven't had to take away a phone in over a year (if I see one the phone goes to the office, I don't even ask why they have it). But I taught high school with a "no cell phones" policy about 6 years ago and totally get that it's an issue with kids being on their phones. Tons of students were constantly sneaking time on their phones. Good luck.
     
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  20. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2018

    The only thing is that teens are bonded at the hip with their phones. I first noticed that my son would ignore the call I sent without remorse, but stop mid sentence to read it text. I have watched him check the text at first vibration, a habit that developed when he went to college. He was just before cells in school, or I have no doubt that he would have displayed the trait sooner. I work with people who can't resist the vibration of notification, immediately looking at the text on the screen. We aren't even supposed to have our cells available or on, but it is the addiction that no one is willing to give up.

    I get grief from friends at work who want immediate respones to their texts, and they can't believe I haven't seen it yet, because I am teaching. If this is how adults act, how can we believe our students will be any better?
     

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