Friday, June 22, 2007

If you can't beat 'em join 'em

Last night our school board had the discussion about cell phones. Let me preface this post by saying these are only my personal opinions and thoughts and not those of my district. Duh, administrators do have minds of their own. Apparently the HS students are getting pretty carried away. They even talked about how they looked for cell phone jamming devices to build into the new HS so kids couldn't use them. This is a violation of some law so that didn't happen.

Isn't texting on cell phones the same thing as writing notes? Oh I bet that comment will stir some emotions. The other features of the cell phone are obviously different. I don't agree with kids taking pictures in locker rooms and then posting them on the internet. Not sure how to win that battle other than just making them aware of the permanence of posting to the web.

I really don't feel like they are using these to be bad so to speak. Great teachers never forget what it was like to be a student and great principals never forget what it was like to be a teacher, and heaven forbid great superintendents forget what it was like to be a principal or in the school all day.

Our district also discussed drug testing which another post/topic for another day. But the point was made to have teachers/staff tested if we are going to require students to be tested. Well, if we are going to limit/ban cell phone usage for the children then shouldn't it be banned/limited for teachers? I do not like my teachers to wear their cell phones. That is a personal preference of mine because if you are wearing your phone you are obviously planning to use it or make a call. During school hours the children are my teacher's number one priority. Yes, they can use it on their planning times, lunch times, and breaks. (Not that teachers get breaks. Don't kid yourself. Teachers work just about every minute of every day.) But there is also a phone in every classroom. So why can't the kids use them on their breaks, planning periods, etc.?

I am not familiar with what the kids are using cell phones for other than keeping in touch with each other because that is what kids do. When I was a kid I talked on the phone all the time. Most of my friends had their own phone in their own room and some even had their own phone line. My parents never went for this. I was so deprived as a child! :)

Ideas for kids with cell phones:
  • I told my teachers they are NOT the cell phone police. It would be very niave of me to think my elementary students do not have cell phones in their backpacks. Most are turned off. Most of the phones elementary kids have are old cell phones their parents have quit using and the kids just play the games on them. Maybe the kids are going to a sleepover after school on Friday night and parents want to be able to contact their kids. Great! Leave the phone in the backpack turned off. No problem. If they do ring or they do have them out. Teachers are to take them and send them to my office and the parents can come pick them up. Only two have come to pick them up because most are old cell phones used for games.
  • Give a designated time for kids to use their phones.
  • Have a cell phone "check in" box in every room. As students come in class put their cell phone in and pick it up on the way out. Maybe to elementary of an idea.
  • Have the kids turn in their cell phone numbers to the teacher or the school. Text your students! Wouldn't they just die?
  • The day of the 'sage on the stage' is over. Walk around the classroom so you can monitor what your kids are doing. I watched a student text with his phone under his leg and not even looking at it. I, of course have to hold my phone up to my face and text one letter at a time and spell every word correctly. I don't know all the text 'short hand.'
If you can't beat 'em join 'em. My hairdresser gets ring tones from the HS kids he does hair for and then bluetooths (is that a word) them to me when I get my hair done. Next school event I am at I will see if any kids will share their ring tones. Choose your battles.

What other suggestions are our there for kids with cell phones, other than to BAN from everything?