NO Cell phones at work!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Master Pre-K, May 10, 2008.

  1. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    May 10, 2008

    Hello All,

    Had a thought when responding to thread on playing solitare while subbing. I personally think anything distracting you from the kids is not acceptable.

    So what about phones?

    Have we become so obessed with our cell phones that a law must be passed, and strictly monitored to stop what I see is sheer madness in the schools?

    Teachers walk away and talk on phone.
    Teachers stand in playground and talk on phone.
    Teachers wearing bluetooths, carrying blackberries..talking and
    texting in children's presence.

    And today, I saw....a cook with her neck crooked, holding her cell phone and talking while carrying 2 trays of hot food into the classroom! :unsure:

    What can be so important that it can't wait until 12-1 or after 3? What did we do before cell phones? Wait and get the call...or a message in our box. Unless it was life or death, nobody was pulled out or sent calls. Phones in the room could not dial out for anything but in house calls!

    I know we had this discussion on cell phones and kids...but what about adults??

    Would you be willing to toss your cell phone in a locker once you signed in at work?
     
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  3. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    Our principal is REALLY intolerant of teachers using cell phones. I have mine in my purse in my desk. The only time it should ring is if there is an emergency with my family. Heaven help you if your phone goes off in a staff meeting.

    What I don't understand is that this intolerance doesn't seem to extend to our security staff. I see them talking on the phone ALL day long.
     
  4. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I don't even own a cell phone. I do see teachers and other staff using them throughout the day. No one is supposed to use one in front of students, but it happens all the time.

    I think a cell phone is a great tool, good to have for emergencies, and can be very effective for discipline issues. I'd love to be able to tell a child that I will call his or her parent right there on the spot.

    But it comes down to professionalism and doing your job. I think that it should be okay to have a cell phone available, but only use it for emergencies or on breaks. (And then don't take your break walking around in the building talking on the phone - go somewhere out of sight of the students.) If you are sure the only chance of it ringing is for an emergency, then, sure, leave it on.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    What? No way. We can only have phones on when we are on a break of planning period. I even hate when people yak away on them in our small teachers lounge.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I really can't stand it. They keep sending around memos about not using your cell phone when on duty but people don't listen. I used to have an aide who would sneak into the closet to make calls...lets just say she's my FORMER aide. It's bad enough when you see people on their phones standing in line at the store not paying attentiont to the cashier and that makes YOU wait longer.:mad:
     
  7. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I love the convenience of my cell phone. I love the fact that I can have something with me in the car just in case and that I can make long distance calls for no add'l cost. I think they are great. All that said, I barely use mine for talking. I've had this particular phone for 1.5 years and I have sent less than 25 texts. I use the calculator and the alarm quite a bit and I use it to check the time. I never use it at school unless it is break time and I need to do something important and even then I shut my door.

    I think most people who talk on their phones a lot need an etiquette course.

    Forgot to add that when I sub PE I always bring my phone outside with me along with the walkie talkie. Our track where the kids run is pretty far from the main building, especially the farside. I worry that if someone gets really hurt, that I would be in a pickle.
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    May 10, 2008

    I have to admit it but I am the teacher with the cell phone that is constantly ringing. That said the ringing cell phone is put on silent and left on my desk to be handled afterschool. If it is a true emergency, my husband can send an e-mail using his Blackberry to my school e-mail. I never talk on my cell phone during school hours.
     
  9. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I have my cell phone, and it's on silent at all times at school. I have used mine at school, but it was either for an emergency situation or I had to deal once with a behavior problem right away. I have seen teachers on staff use their phones during class, in the halls, and the phones go off all the time at faculty meetings. Our ESOL teachers use their phones to communicate with each other during the day, but they are so loud when they talk, that it's distracting to the kids.
     
  10. jenngugs

    jenngugs Companion

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    May 10, 2008

    My bf works for the state in a prison, and his bags get searched every morning as he walks in the door. Cell phones are a BIG no-no there. He leaves it in his car and walks out on his lunch break to check for any messages. It's not really a big deal.
     
  11. PK teacher

    PK teacher Rookie

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    "Cell phones"

    I am a Master PK-Teacher and I know for sure that if we talked on our phones while outside with the children we would be written up at once! NO EXCUSES!! Thats why I just dont take my cell with me,,, otherwise I would be tempted to use it. Also if the "Area Director" were to see you talking on it,,, you would be fired.
     
  12. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    May 10, 2008

    Cell Phone as a Must

    I keep my cell phone close by at all times anywhere I go, including at school. However, I typically don't answer my cell phone at school unless I am expecting a phone call from a parent, if my husband calls (he never calls unless it is important), or if I am expecting a phone call about an issue that needs to be resolved ASAP. Like on Thursday, we discovered a pipe had cracked open outside of our house and the seal in the basement had a crack too, so it started leaking into our basement. I kept that phone right in pocket so that when the contractor called, I could get it right away.

    I don't trust the office to give me messages because they can never seem to get messages to me in a speedy, timely manner. And I don't have a school phone inside my classroom. If someone calls me during the school day, it is typically urgent. Tee hee! They could pass a law within my school, and I could care less. I would still carry it and answer it, if I needed to do so.

    You wouldn't see me randomly talking to my hairdresser though. :p
     
  13. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    May 10, 2008

    My cellphone is put on silent before I ever walk in the building, and it stays in my purse in my cabinet all day. Of course, it is nice to occassionally pull it out and set it on my desk in front of students if they really need that "motivation" that I could call their parent at any time. (I only do this very rarely.) I do use my phone after contract hours, but honestly, it's much easier just to use the school phone because the cell reception is not the best.
     
  14. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    There are two teachers in my building who are on their cell phones with students in the class; I hope the principal addresses this soon.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I don't own a cell phone. We have phones in our classroom, as well as panic buttons.

    I see so many teachers abusing their cell phones -- especially the younger teachers. They text their husbands or boyfriends, as well as their friends, all day long, and are constantly getting that "email beep" and pick up their cell to check. (Our computers have personal emails blocked -- such as aol, yahoo, etc and all instant messaging blocked.)

    Of course, no one ever says anything to them, so it goes on and is very noticeable. Of course, the fact that our principal stopped in the middle of our first staff meeting of the year to take a call (right in front of us...while we waited) from his son asking if he could go over to a friend's house -- well that sort of set the tone from the very beginning.

    I guess it is "the way of the future' but I think it is very unprofessional. I can understand in true emergencies, but 99% of what I see and hear is not an emergency of any kind.
     
  16. Dzenna

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    I keep my cell phone in my purse in the classroom. I only get emergency calls. During this past week, my father-in-law had a major health crisis. I called my husband daily during my breaks and kept the phone on for calls all week long. I feel it is a necessity.

    I must admit, I feel completely unprofessional when the phone rings during class. I feel bad knowing I am taking attention away from the children when I am getting paid to give them my attention. But, in this situation, I feel it is a necessity.
     
  17. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Ours are supposed to be on silent during the day. Mine always is, my co-teacher's isn't necessarily... but she also has 2 kids, and if they need to be picked up from school or whatever, she'll sometimes get a call on her cell instead of the school phone. They USUALLY call the school phone, but it's another way to get ahold of her... the same goes for asking about after-school plans. They can text them to her, it's a quick 30-sec. conversation with yes or no, and that's that, vs. what's always a longer phone conversation.

    We're not supposed to be on them in the classrooms, and, for the most part, people comply. We've been told that texting during nap time will result in being docked pay, but I don't actually see that happening...

    On the other hand, when we go on field trips, they want the cell number of every teacher going on the trip, so we can call when we get there and when we're leaving and so they can get ahold of us if the school needs something.
     
  18. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Yeah, don't you love that "rules when they work for us" mentality?
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    My mentality concerning cell phones is exactly the same as Corps2005's. It sits in my desk drawer on vibrate because I know the only people who would ever call would be my husband or mother if it was very important. When we built our house last year I had to be available during a couple of crucial steps and I felt no guilt at all for answering it. I am an adult and can make intelligent decisions as to when, how, why, how long, etc. to talk on the phone. I would never call my husband during class, for example, to remind him to pick up milk. As someone else mentioned, I also use it on field trips so chaperones can contact me and I allow students to call their parents using it when necessary (long distance calls are not permitted from our classroom telephones).
     
  20. Budaka

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    I don't have a phone in my room and anyone I call would be long distance since I teach way out in the country. So it is nice to have a cell phone so that I don't have to pay the school for my phone calls. However, I think I have received maybe two phone calls all school year. Only four people know my cell phone number so if anyone calls it is an emergency!
     
  21. scienceteach82

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    I keep my phone with me all the time. It is on silent. I only use it during my break times, if I need to. Our phones at school rarely work! it is so pathetic!
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My phone stays on vibrate and sits in my purse inside my desk all day. I never use it during class, but I do frequently call my husband during my prep period when no students are around.

    When students are present, it's my job to teach them. Even if I'm not actively presenting a lesson, I do need to be monitoring them to ensure that they stay on task and that they're understanding the material. If I'm on my phone--either talking or texting--I can't possibly be monitoring their behavior. And I think it also sends the message to students that I am unavailable to provide assistance, so they might hesitate to ask me questions about whatever they're working on.
     
  23. 1stesl

    1stesl Rookie

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    May 10, 2008

    I take my cell phone with me, and it stays on my desk, kidda hidden on vibrate. My best friend is very sick right now, and her son attends the school I teach at, so in case anything were to happen, I would know, and could get to him. That being said, the office is aware of the situtation, and should I need to, can buzz the office for someone to come relieve me.
     
  24. Amers

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    I take my cell phone to recess with me since I don't have a watch. I use the clock on it. I've used my cell during my prep when I'm trying to schedule appointments. I can't use the school phone because it would be long distance. Plus, our school only has 2 phone lines for the whole building.

    I let me students use it when we had a couple early release days due to snow. Since the office was packed with kids trying to reach their parents to find out how to get home/where to go (and it's just 2 phone lines), I let them call on my phone.

    I would never answer the phone in front of my kids unless I was expecting an emergency phone call. Then, I would tell my kids that I would be answering my phone at some point due to an emergency.

    As for talking on a phone in the teachers' lounge, I don't see a problem with that. Teachers at my school do that all the time. It's no different than talking on the regular phone in our lounge.
     
  25. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I carry mine on me most of the time. I do get texts, but I only answer when I am not teaching. I have been known to carry onto the playground when I left my watch at home and when I am expecting a phone call from a parent. I have been seen calling a child over to talk to their parent at recess because of behavior that I reported earlier to a message machine.
     
  26. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Any one who knows me well enough to know my cell phone number, knows that I am unavailable from 8am-3pm. If they did call I wouldn't know about it because the phone is off. I go out to my car during lunch and call my husband but that's it.
     
  27. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    It's the people that cannot distinguish between appropriate times and places for cell phones that make unneccesary rules be put into place. If there is ever an emergecy, I leave the office phone number at school with my husband and parents.
     
  28. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My cell-phone is in my bag in my cupboard, where it stays until after the students go home. I then get it out because my son often texts me with after-school plans and my daughter may give me a call to ask permission to go to a friend's. During school time, the only way to reach me is through the school number. In an emergency, the secretaries will call into the room to ask if I can take a call; everything else goes to voicemail.
     
  29. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our school policy is that they are to stay off during the day unless there is an emergency. The principal has asked that if we have something that we need the phone for, just let them know in case someone from the central office stops by (and they do from time to time). I don't keep my phone on unless it is a specific matter to be handled (family emergency, etc). They do ask that we bring them on field trips and keep them on in case of an emergency. We have one teacher who is on her phone constantly (and had ringtones like "Low" that play in class). She leaves her room and hides in the hall to talk, she walks away from her room and sits outside to talk, she just sits in front of the kids and talks.
    During testing, though, we were told if we were caught with our phone in the building it was a firable offense. That was a parish mandate.
     
  30. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I do think talking on cell phones during the school day (minus planning period or lunch) is totally inappropriate.

    Like some other people on here, everyone knows I am unavailable from 7-2:30. Very few people have my cell phone because I use it as an emergency phone. I do keep it in my front pocket on vibrate so that I can check who called me between classes by looking at the call log. I did make one phone call during class, it was when the aide was working with students and I had explained that my parents had called and they know they aren't to call me during the school day, so it must be an emergency. It was indeed a minor emergency, but the secretary would have had to get me out of class to take care of it if I didn't call from the back of the room while my aide worked with the kids. It took 1 minute.

    Besides emergencies and free periods, cell phones are unacceptable. I don't use mine during my free period because there is a class in my room.
     
  31. smile

    smile Companion

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    I see teachers at my school constantly texting and talking on their phone which BUGS me. Even at our grade level meeting, they would excuse themselves and start talking/texting away. At recess duty, one teacher and an aide is always texting or talking... They're not monitoring the kids!!! If something horrible happens, there goes their credential!
     
  32. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    what a mixed message they are sending. I resent that. You are not paying for my minutes and I refuse to use them for business! That's why they make walkie=talkies!
     
  33. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    that is it in a nutshell Friz...

    I think we are all in agreement that as responsible adults and professionals, we know the difference between using a cell phone for an emergency

    and every day blabbing...
     
  34. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I have mixed feelings about using my cell phone for parents and allowing children to call home. Reminds me too much of Girl Scout meetings, and parents who are always late. Having the child go to the office and call seems to be the better answer, and takes the responsibility where it belongs, where it could/should be documented. When you are off, you should be able to go home. They seem to know somebody (ME) will always stick around. I think it is totally unfair to the kids, but a lack of planning on a parent's part does not consititute obligation to my cell phone.

    Maybe they should make school cell phones available to staff for field trips, after school, and sports/academic outings only.
     
  35. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don't know where you work, but I don't see that where I work. I do have my phone in my purse, and it's also on . . . but low enough so that I doubt anyone would even hear it unless they were really close to my desk. The only people I ever see using the phone during school hours are using it during their own time unless it's an emergency.

    Everyone I know leaves me a voice mail or calls during my planning time. If it's an emergency, they call the school and have it transferred to my classroom phone since they know that I'm not going to answer the cell unless I'm on my own time.

    Personal calls on work time--whether on your cell or on a landline phone--are inappropriate no matter what business you're in.
     

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