Need help/advice with the CELL PHONE issue!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Lindsay.Lou, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 11, 2009

    I teach high school. 99% of my students bring a cell phone to school. The texting is just out.of.control. Every time I turn my back they start texting. The problem is that it's hard to catch them red handed because they'll do stuff like keep it in the front pocket of their hooded sweatshirt. I know it's there, I can tell, but I don't have the authority to search their clothing. They're always "looking for something" in their backpack...but I KNOW they're really texting in there.

    The problem is that there is no parental support and little administration support. The parents WANT their kids to have the cell phones in school and I can't even tell you how many times I've heard "but I was texting my mom back!!" The administration has bigger fish to fry and doesn't want to upset parents.

    Also, when I do catch a student and tell them to hand over their cell phone, they get very angry and it often escalates into a much bigger issue than it needed to be.

    What can I do? What is your school's policy? Is it enforced? Are teachers, parents, and administrators all on board?
     
  2.  
  3. Securis

    Securis Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 11, 2009

    In my district phones are confiscated. If the student will not give it up, they are referred to the office, no argument. First offense, parent must come to get the phone. Second offense, it cost $15 dollars to get the phone back, third offense $25, fourth offense $50, all subsequent offenses $50. OR the parent and student can wait until the end of the year to retrieve the phone at no cost.

    The policy is this way due to potential test fraud.

    Without administration support, you are out of luck in getting the problem solved. The headache of getting the phone away is more than it is worth.

    You could keep the consequences on a micro-level. You can take it away for the period and then return it before they leave class. That usually solves your problem and resolves the standoff. It might even lessen instances of texting occurring.

    You could consequence students based on disruption. Whatever your discipline plan provides for. Writing assignments, points taken from daily grades, whatever.

    You might begin the year by offering procedures in your classroom that limit access. You can still do this but it will be more difficult to get them installed. No hoodies or jackets worn while in class. Have them hang them up. Hoodies with pockets provide too many hiding places for weapons. They aren't even allowed to wear anything that doesn't button or zip up the front in my district. Backpacks could be placed away in a corner, on a shelf, under a table. Keep them in their seats and phones hidden in backpacks are isolated.

    Good luck. Battles against ingrained behavior without admin support are very frustrating to undertake.
     
  4. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    389

    Jan 11, 2009

    We have a policy in place, too. They get taken up and kept for so long depending on how many times they've been taken up. I like the $fine for each time it gets taken up. That is a neat idea.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,934
    Likes Received:
    1,756

    Jan 11, 2009

    This is the policy at the high schools here as well. My daughter knows that if her phone is ever confiscated because she is using it during class, it will be a very long time before she gets it back again.
     
  6. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,771
    Likes Received:
    53

    Jan 11, 2009

    Securis gave the same suggestions I use. Our school has a no hoodie policy, but you can make one for just your class. Backpacks and purses must be under their seats, not on the desk and not on the lap. I think with these two policies you should be able to take care of most of the issues. Although I generally take away one phone per week even with these two policies, and I know I don't catch every person. At least this way it's not constant. Good luck with this annoying problem!
     
  7. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 11, 2009

    At our school, students aren't allowed to HAVE cell phones, and this is one of the admin's BIG issues. If we suspect a student is texting we're supposed to call security and they come in and search every student with a metal detector wand. Any phones found a confiscated for are certain period of time (possibly as long as the end of the year on later offenses) and students typically receive ISS for it. We don't have too many problems, and if it's the first time I suspect there's a phone I'll warn the student privately. I've never had a student get past the first warning in my class. I can't imagine not having admin's support with this. Good luck!
     
  8. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jan 11, 2009

    In my school, it's a decision made by each individual teacher whether or not to allow cell phones in class, but whatever we choose we are backed by admin.

    My rule is no cell phones. The first time I catch them with one, I take it for the rest of the period, with the warning that if I catch them again, I will keep it for the remainder of the day. As of yet, I haven't had to keep one all day.
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    111

    Jan 11, 2009

    Maybe you could take an opposite tack - require everyone to put their cell phones out on corner of their desks, face down. They are not to be touched until class is over.

    I always post on the board what the kids need that period:

    Please have out:
    - Compbook
    - Pen
    - Index cards (5)


    This also lets me start class as soon as the bell rings.

    Hey, I think my next post will be my 500th! W00t!
     
  10. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 11, 2009

    I like this idea, if it can be approved by admin. We know the kids have them, but they are not allowed to be out of their bags until after dismissal. Administration would have a fit if we did this.
     
  11. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 11, 2009

    Last semester one of the varsity football players wouldn't hand over their phone after having been caught. The principal made it simple: hand it over or you're not playing in the game Friday. I took the same kid's phone in class this week without any problem.
     
  12. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 11, 2009

    My students literally text without even looking at the screen. So talented!:rolleyes::lol:

    Usually, even if I don't physically see the phone, I just have to walk over with my hand outstretched and they give it up. Guilty conscience, I suppose.

    I second the suggestion of purses/backpacks under the desk.

    If my admin came in and saw that, they would flip. It might work in some schools though.
     
  13. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    111

    Jan 11, 2009

    Maybe you could put a paper cup over every phone! ;)
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,851
    Likes Received:
    152

    Jan 11, 2009

    I have no experience working w/ HS kids, but if you're not getting support from parents or even the school & district, it's tough for you to enforce somethinng like that alone.

    You can either have the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality OR just keep trying your best to stop it...in your class anyway.

    If I were you, I wouldn't want to start asking them to hand their phones over to me because if they get lost, stolen, or broken, they'll be ready to sue or God knows what else. These days, phones are so advanced, they could cost a few hundred dollars as you know, so do you really want to be responsible for equipment like that when you have enough problems?
     
  15. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 11, 2009

    i like the put it out idea also, maybe a table in the front of the room with numbers on it corresponding to each student, or a pocket chart with the phones in it.

    Probably better to just put it on the desk
     
  16. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 11, 2009

    I teach middle school, so the cell phone thing isn't as much of a problem as I'm sure high school is. My school requires that cell phones stay in the lockers throughout the entire school day. If I catch someone with a cell phone, I keep it for the day and write them a referral.

    I subbed in a high school where this teacher required that all students put their cell phones in a bin as they entered the room. After class was over, they could collect their cell phones as they left the room. Any student who was caught with their phone in class had it taken away by the teacher and the parents were notified. It sounds like your school sucks at supporting you on this though.
     
  17. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,266
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 11, 2009

    My school is a 7-10 school. The policy, which is school wide is no electronics of any kind, no backpacks and no coats in the classroom. All these things must be kept in their locker. Because it's school wide, there are no arguments, it's just accepted.
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jan 11, 2009

    I heard a suggestion the other day about cell phones. This teacher collected a bunch of kid sized shoe boxes and labeled them with a number (you could also use cubbies, etc). When the kids entered, they put their cell phone in their numbered box, which was the same as their number for his class (grades, etc). They picked them up when they left. No muss, no fuss. The kids respect knowing where their phone is, not shoved in some teacher's desk, and agree to cut the texting for that period.

    For those of you who say admin would not allow this, could you go to them and propose a test? Have all your bases covered, let them know that a no tolerance policy is not working in your class, you have this idea, and would like permission to conduct a trial for a few weeks. Kill 'em with kindness!
     
  19. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    52

    Jan 12, 2009

    I have no problem with a teacher taking my son's phone if he has it on, is using it, or has it out. But I do have a problem with him being required to have it in his locker. His locker has been broken into twice this year (at least once was in the middle of the day) and yes he had locks on it that cost over $10 each that I purchased. He has lost two pairs of Nikes. I purchased the phone for him to have before school at weight lifting and after school at football. So for him to have it at these times, he has to take it to school with him. He knows if I get a phone call from a teacher about taking his phone he is dead. Some of his teachers have policies in their syllabus to cover it. One teacher had a phone pass like a homework pass. If you still had it at the end of the semester it was worth 50 points. He got the 50 points.
     
  20. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 12, 2009

    I think I might also start calling parents about the issue more. Perhaps they'll "ground" them from using their phone (i.e. not let them take it to school) if I contact them about it?
     
  21. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,008
    Likes Received:
    152

    Jan 12, 2009

    Last year the phone policy was if they got caught with it their phone was taken away and a parent had to come get it. This year after lots of parents complaints there really is no cell phone law, or there might be but I just haven't had to hear about from my kids. I think if they get caught with it during class it just gets taken away until the end of the period. I like the idea of having the phones in a bin during the class period. Especially during a testing day.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. MrsC,
  2. ready2learn,
  3. CaliforniaRPCV,
  4. YoungTeacherGuy,
  5. Dobrien
Total: 411 (members: 7, guests: 386, robots: 18)
test