So I didn't take it...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mathemagician, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2012

    I have a policy of no cell phones unless I okay them for instructional purposes. I take away phones if they go off or if they are texting.

    On Friday one girls phone rang during class. I just looked at her and said sternly "don't let me hear it again", but for whatever reason didn't take the phone. She is probably one of the best students, a very active participant, and she was very apologetic. I know I should have been consistent, and I should have taken her phone, but I just didn't. I definitely don't anticipate it happening again with her, and the class as a whole is very good so I don't anticipate it happening in general with that class too frequently. I am just worried that now I have to give everyone a pass. I don't want someone else's phone to go off and have him/her say "but you didn't take hers..." I wish I had just taken it from her and given it back at the end of the period, but since I didn't, how would you recommend handling it if another phone goes off so that I don't seem to be playing favorites?
     
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  3. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    Sep 17, 2012

    If you are questioned for that, perhaps there's a way to justify your reasoning. Was it near the end of class? If she's an exceptional pupil there's always, "If you paid attention as well as she did, I wouldn't have to take yours either," or something. I know that sounds harsh and borders on favoritism, but my only experience (currently) comes from what happened when I was a student. It also depends on the ages of your students. ... Well, I'm tempted to delete this comment and let others with more experience answer you, but maybe it'll help. :dunno:
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2012

    I don't think there's any easy way out. But you do NOT give everyone a pass. Doing so simply implies that NONE of your rules mean anything. And don't fake a reason for not doing so; your kids are smart enough to see through a lie. Don't tie it into who the girl is-- it gets her labled as Teacher's Pet and it makes you look like the kind of teacher who has a pet-- and the fact that she's a teenage girl and you're a young male teacher would only open a can of worms you don't want to get near.

    I think the only possible response is "You're right. I wasn't thinking. I should have taken hers. It's the policy I set up, and I was wrong to be inconsistent in applying it. That won't happen again. May I have your cell phone please?"
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Sep 17, 2012

    What if you go in today and say I let it slide for the first 2 weeks, or whatever it is, but from this point forward, no warnings.
     
  6. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2012

    This is a good plan. Maybe I will just remind them of the rules in general, and say I was lenient the first week, but that this is everyone's warning/reminder.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sep 17, 2012

    I would be upfront with the class. Tell them the truth-you were caught offguard, and as you thought it over this weekend, you realized you should have taken her phone. Kids will respect the fact that you messed up-especially if you own the mistake and are firm and clear in the policy from here on out.

    When it happens again (and it will), just remind them-"Remember when Katie's phone rang, and I didn't take it, but we had that discussion about how I should have? This is why-we can't have phones ringing in class. May I have your phone now?"
     
  8. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2012

    Alice said it perfectly. :)
     
  9. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 17, 2012

    I would say "I know I should have taken her phone, but right now I'm concerned about your phone and how its affecting your learning NOW."
     
  10. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

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    Sep 18, 2012

    Fair does not always mean the SAME. :) That's why I didn't post a sequential list of consequences for breaking rules this year. I posted POSSIBLE consequences. It's been working so far!

    On a side note....Personally, you would have to pay me much more to physically take someone's $200 phone and hold it. You are brave Mathemagician ;)
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 18, 2012

    Hey, you now know better...so you can do better. Just as you wouldn't want your students to keep making the same mistake since they already did once, you can't keep letting this pass. I would address the class tomorrow...tell everyone you have given it consideration and you think you're far enough into the school year that any phones out from this point forward without permission will be taken until the end of class. And really, that's not a harsh punishment whatsoever. I mean, they're in class...they shouldn't be using it, so you're not really taking anything away except for the "comfort" of having their phone close to them.

    What is your school's policy, I'm curious?
     
  12. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Sep 18, 2012

    Good point---I did mention it today, without referring to the specific incident--they didn't even really seem to think anything of it.

    We have a BYOT policy. Kids can bring and use laptops, phones, iPods etc as long as the teacher allows it (for educational purposes). If the student is using it when we're not allowing it, we can determine the consequence, but it is suggested to take it.
     
  13. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Sep 20, 2012

    I have a similar policy. I don't, however, take phones if it accidentally goes off while in a student's bag, pocket, etc. I assume they forgot to turn it off. I ask them to do so, to put the phone away and get back to work. I forget to mute my phone occasionally and it has gone off in class. A mistake is a mistake.

    Now, if the phone were out, that would be a different story.
     
  14. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Sep 20, 2012

    Fair doesn't mean 'same' and that means that you can treat each student as an individual and each situation as an individual one.
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Sep 20, 2012

    I just read an article on consistency by Fred Jones that someone posted on this forum. Consistency never made sense until I read that article! Whoever posted it, I forget what your username was, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    I had two Eureka moments yesterday. One was from reading that article, and the other was that I realized that I should make them practice their procedures again because classroom management was slipping. It worked PERFECTLY. I love it! You hear these things in your teaching program, but they don't make sense to you until you do it or see something that triggers the lightbulb in your brain. Fred Jones said it perfectly, to new teachers "consistency" is just a word. It doesn't mean anything, unless they've been through parenting (and did a good job).

    Anyway, when it comes to cellphones and things like that, if they go off accidentally, or they fall out of their pocket, I simply tell them to turn it off or put it away, and use that example as a warning to the whole class that that is their last warning. They generally accept the warning, and they know if someone else has one ringing that I will take it.

    If it falls out, I just tell them to put it away. Any talking or USING a cell phone in class would definitely be an immediate confiscation. Our school has three levels of confiscation. First offense, the teacher confiscates it, and can return it at the end of class or the day. Second, the teacher gives it to the office and the student can get it at the end of the day. Third, the parent has to pick it up.

    However, since I teach science, if they ask me, they can record explosions and demos on their phones, or to research a questions during a discussion (last time they answered, how long does it take to run across the moon), and we will be doing a unit in which they will use their phones to take photos for 'Snapshot Science'.
     
  16. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I had a HUGE problem with cell phones my first year. I got in wrestling matches and eventually stopped taking them. That only made the problem worse. Then last year, I got attacked for taking aboy's phone. He grabbed it out of my skirt pocket.
    This year I haven't seen or heard one yet.
     
  17. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Sep 22, 2012

    This is my policy as well. I feel like if it just goes off, it was an accident so there's no need to take it as long as they quickly turn it off. My phone occasionally goes off accidentally as well. If someone is texting, I take the phone and give it back at the end of the period. If it's happened more than once, I give it to the assistant principal, and the student needs to go get it at the end of the day.
     

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