How much enforcement of phones?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by a teacher, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    Oct 21, 2016

    I have a no cell phone policy in my classroom. Fortunately our school and our district have the same. Yet, as I am sure is true for most of you, it is an ongoing problem. I have a hunch many teachers, though in theory not allowing cell phones or agreeing that it's okay to have them out, don't enforce rules. Based on the frequency with which kids have them out and have to be reminded to put them away or have them confiscated by me, I get the feeling that I am seen as extra strict just because I enforce a policy.

    What do you all do? Is it possible that friendly and approachable teachers confiscate phones?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I take phones. Every time. I enforce the school policies even if everyone doesn't. It's not the easiest way to go, but I'm not in this for easy.
     
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  4. a teacher

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    What about the "nice" or popular teachers. Seems hard to imagine them doing it.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here we go again with "nice" and "popular". I'm "nice"; I'm popular with the students who know me; it doesn't take long for my students to say, "You know you love us..." I also have very high expectations of my students' behaviour and academic effort and achievement. They are not mutually exclusive.
     
  6. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    We have a lock box and collect phones.
     
  7. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    Cool! How does that work?
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    why are you so stuck on the "nice" and "popular" teachers? It seems to me that you believe these teachers are popular because they don't enforce anything, and are pushovers. It probably happens, but most of the time I don't think that's the case.

    My principal just told me today, that again, she likes everything she hears about me from the students (I laughed and said "still?" lol), so I don't know if that makes me popular but I guess students don't exactly hate me.

    I take phones all the time. I still warn them once, I often just warn the entire class one time, or if I see a few students having their phones out, I address the class, but that's it.
    Some students used to refused to give it up (I'd send them to the office and their phones were taken for the whole day), but for the longest time no one even argues. They know they're in the wrong, and they give it up, I give it back to them at the end of the class. I don't look at their phone, and I think that might be part of the reason they give it up easily, the other thing is I tell them I give it back to them at the end of the class, and I don't go back on my word. And finally, I don't make a big deal, I walk up, hold out my hand and say 'give it' and that's it.

    Our admin's view on phones is that it is up to each classroom teacher to decide what their policy is and how they handle it and the school will fully support it.
     
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  9. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    We have a lock box, kids out their phone in, without being asked, when they walk in. We lock it during class somphines are secure. At the end of class, kids get their phones. We are backed by admin on this policy; it works really well.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 23, 2016

    I'm nice. I'm popular. I would still take phones if that is the school policy. Luckily, our policy is to allow kids to keep their phones turned off and put away. Last year I had a student access inappropriate material on his phone. He was suspended and not allowed to bring his phone to school anymore. I'm still one of his favorite teachers.

    Is there a reason that you are so focused on the nice and popular teachers?
     
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  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Oct 23, 2016

    Exactly! It's all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Just because you're "nice," doesn't mean the students respect you. In fact if they see that they can take advantage of your good nature, they will. I saw it all last year as she (a new teacher colleague) attempted to be warm and fuzzy, but couldn't really enforce rules or consequences. She was all about (unconsciously) being their friend, which didn't work well. Our job is to grab the bull by the horns. Put the management down and then we can loosen up. My kids knew when it was play time and when it was work - time. When I gave them the look, it was all over! LOL
    ;)
     
  12. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Our school policy is no cell phones in the classroom. Students either leave them in their lockers or hand them over to a teacher for the day. If we see it once, they're given a choice between putting it in their locker or handing it over. If we see it again or if they refuse locker/hand over, we call an administrator and it stays with the administrator until a parent comes and gets it. There have been some issues with a few of the special area teachers not following through, but my grade level team and administrator are all very strict about it so we really don't have very many issues. The kids know we're serious. It doesn't make them like us any less.
     
  13. a teacher

    a teacher Cohort

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    All inspiring stories. I am going to fiercely enforce no phones now. I already was, but I guess the difference now is that I will feel more justified. The reason I bring up the "nice teacher" thing is because I couldn't see popular teachers doing it. But since some of you do enforce the policy and claim you are still popular I guess it's an expected thing from teachers. I don't care about being popular. I just don't want to be the only one taking phones in my whole school. I may be!
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 23, 2016

    .
     
  15. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    Oct 24, 2016

    The high school I do student teaching at allows students to use their phones to fact-check or to translate (it's 45% Latinx and at least 25% ELL so a lot of them use Google Translate for everything they do in English.) They DO make students put their phones away if they're not using them for schoolwork explicitly.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Our school doesn't have a policy. I have a policy in my classroom, but I have probably been a little lax, especially since I usually have them use their phones daily to take quizzes or do other things, so I'm not always sure if they just have their phone out because they haven't put it away yet for the quiz or other activity, or if they're using it. If I see it being used, I tell them to put it away or I will take it. They always put it away. If I see it out again, I take it.
     
  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    We review today for a quiz. The kids worked together for almost the whole period, except for the last 10 minutes when I went over some questions. this one kid had his phone out, showed something funny to a few students so 3-4 four of them were completely distracted and laughed. I took the phone from him and said I''l keep it through the end of the day. There was only 8 minutes left in class, and there was one more period in the day.
    I put it in my desk that is up front. At one point I stepped outside to talk to a student whom I ask to step outside.
    When I came back, I had a feeling, and yes, this student snuk into that desk and took out his phone. This never happened before.
    I demanded that he gave it back (they had 1 minute left of class,) he refused, we went back and forth.
    I was basically powerless because I wasn't going to physically take it from him.
    Told him, for 1 week, before he comes in, he will give his phone to the front desk, or he can give it to me now.
    He said he didn't care.
    So for the next week, I'll make him give up his phone, if he refuses, he will be sent out and written up every single day. I will keep that phone until the end of the day.

    This will send a message and teach him a lesson. I haven't had much issues with the phone, but it really made me mad that he went into my desk. I don't have anything valuable there, because I keep my things at my desk in the back, but it's my desk. So there is his consequence.
     
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  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sorry this happened. It's tough when you feel powerless in those situations. I've gotten used to that feeling lately not really knowing what tools I have at my disposal to help keep the student accountable.

    I've been content simply letting the student know that a consequence is coming, but I'd let them know about it later, and then walking away. It gives me more time to come up with something and keeps me from losing face in a power struggle with the student where they know I can't do anything.

    I had students all turn in their phones to me as a practice for the PSAT, and one student who I KNEW had his phone said he didn't have it. I knew he was lying, but I just told him that if I saw it out at any point during the day I would have to take it. He took it out like 2 minutes before the end of class. I asked him for it and he responded with "I'd rather not." I simply said, that he could give it to me now and get it back at lunch (one period away), or I could have the office send someone for him and pick it up and he could get it back either at the end of the day or whenever the school decided to give it back to him. Luckily he was smart and gave it to me. I pulled that one out of my butt though. I don't even know if I could have the school send someone to get his phone.
     
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  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 25, 2016

    I guess I wasn't so powerless after all. I have this kid in 5th period, and wanted to catch him and talk to him earlier. I wanted to make sure he understands why I'm doing what I'm doing, because in the moment he was just saving face. He's a good kid, usually no problems.
    He started by apologizing, I accepted it, asked him if he understood why it's not ok to go in my desk? And why he's going to give up his phone for a week?
    He said yes, and asked if he could just give it to me at the beginning of the class, instead of the front office. I said yes. (this is even better)
    5th period came, he gave me his phone, and I gave it back at the end.
    The end lol.
     
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