Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Think That Tomorrow Will be a Fight

Today we had a school wide assembly.  At the assembly the students were told that as of tomorrow they were no longer going to be allowed to have cell phones during class hours.  The cell phones will be collected at homeroom periods and returned during noon hour.  This is okay.  We talked about it during our last staff meeting.   We really have not done much of a job of teaching our students to use the cell phones respectfully and productively.  Our students' cell phone use is really distracting them from their education.  We teach at a difficult school and we are scrambling to help our students succeed academically.

Then our principal blindsides us (during the assembly) by telling all of the students that staff members will be locking up our cell phones as well (contrary to the mandate of the staff handbook).  Let me start with my initial irrational reaction.  No bloody way.  There is no way that you are going to take away my shiny new iPhone.  I will not be separated from having Google in my pocket.

Let me explain a bit before I move on to my more rational reaction.  I finally got my first smartphone a few months ago and I have been working hard at finding ways to integrate it into my daily work and daily life.  I now read my email on it more than I do my computer.  I have my life programmed into the calendar.  I use it to refer to my day plans.  It is a quick reference tool, my calculator, one of my notepads, and my camera.   I read most of my books on my smartphone.  It even sends me texts to remind me when I have supervision.  I feel much more organized when I have this tool with me.  I am an edtechnophile.

And now for something completely different - my rational reaction (after thinking about it of course).  I agree that I will get better buy in from my students if I lead by example.  They are more likely to comply if I am not flashing my own cell phone in their faces.  I will do it (with some grumbling out of student earshot).  I may even agree with doing it.  Enough said.

If I reacted this strongly, how are our students going to do?

I still think that tomorrow will be a fight.

On a related note:  Take a look at the slides from this presentation by David Truss a few years back.