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Am i heartless??????????

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Henriettawasp, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    It would have helped if the Head of Year had told you about the family circumstances so that you could have made an exception to your (very sensible) classroom rule.
  2. cb700

    cb700 New commenter

    Thank you I dont feel as bad now! I spent all of last night worrying i had done the wrong thing!
  3. I thought the same thing - surely it would be sensible if everyone teaching a child who'd just suffered a close family bereavement was briefed about it, not just so that he could use his phone, but so that teachers would be aware in general that he might be upset or unable to concentrate.
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    As others say, not nasty at all; if you were, you wouldn't be reflecting on it and wondering if you had acted correctly; you'd carry on regardless.
    Bereavement is one of those things that a school has to communicate to all staff members as soon as they know. The family have a responsibility to brief the school, and the school has a responsibility to brief its staff, so that the kid gets the kind of support he/ she needs.
    I think that in almost every situation there's no need to answer phones in a classroom; but in truly, truly exceptional circumstances it might be appropriate- almost every rule meets an exception given a long enough period. For example: the student might now be the primary carer for a bereaved parent, who might be depressed, or dangerously anxious; they might be needed to respond if that person can't cope, and respond instantly. I'm sure we could all think of exceptions where it might be required, even after a bereavement.
    I think that life is so complex that we'll always encounter unique situations where we, as professionals, need to evaluate the context and the consequences of the scenario, and make a judgement based on our intuition and reason combined. But you weren't given this opportunity to judge; instead you were allowed to manage the fallout of a tragedy without the information you needed to appreciate or consider it. It's not your fault, IMO.
    Good luck
  5. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Extremely well put, Tom.
  6. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    If he was so upset then surely he shouldn't have been at school? Mobiles are a pain, and just as much of a pain whether the person using them is upset or not. No mobiles is an excellent rule. What if this boy found that it helped him to punch somebody. Would that be allowed because he was upset?
  7. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I think that's for the parents to decide, doit. Besides, the OP doesn't actually say he was visibly upset. Perhaps he would be better off at school, out of the house and the grief that is undoubtedly there - but he may need to be contacted.
    As Tom says, there is always room to allow exceptions, especially in such difficult circumstances. Mobiles phones may well be a pain, but the circumstances this boy finds himself in surely put that pain into perspective?
  8. Why didn't she discuss it with you before giving the boy permission to use his phone in class?
    Did she check that this was true? Was it the death of a close relative and why did the boy need to be phoned urgently during a lesson? Was he meant to rush from the class to a funeral?
    If the boy was waiting for a kidney transplant I'd say that would be grounds for an exception, but from what you've said, the whole things sounds bogus. They can all claim a bereavement and who has got the time or inclination to check they're telling the truth?

  9. No, you are not heartless. Yesterday, my 15 year old daughter went to school after a day off ill. She was still feeling pretty awful, but wanted to go in to get her Maths GCSE results (BTW, she got an A*!). She has a mobile, and knows I have a mobile - but she also knows my mobile is off during lessons. She took a turn for the worse. Her school contacted the reception of my school, a written message was brought discreetly to my room by the duty boy, and I dealt with it during morning break (obviously, if it had been a real emergency, I would have found someone to cover the class there and then, and dealt with it straight away).
    Parents should not be contacting their children directly by mobile. My children cannot contact me directly when I am teaching. School receptions should be the route, and in my experience, they're always brilliant.

  10. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    While it's not desirable that parents contact pupils directly by mobile phone, Maths, aren't we in danger of creating a rod for our own backs by making such generalised statements? I can certainly imagine a number of exceptions that might actually land us on the front page of the daily rags if we stuck absolutely rigidly to such a rule.
  11. Well said Raymond! I think the case in question was an exception and he should have been allowed to go outside to speak on his mobile phone.
  12. My school has zero tolerance on phones. If we see them they are confiscated, given into the office and only returned to the parents.
    We have very few issues now - but it was hard work when we first brought this in
  13. Rubbish.
    It is utter folly to worry about being the subject of moral panic and outrage spread by many of our Daily Newspapers. The press have no personal values - they will whine about the right of a child to his phone one day and then blame phones for ruining education the next.
    Schools always managed before the mobile telephone and I fail to see why this is so difficult now.

  14. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    How out of keeping with the tone of this thread!
  15. I'm surprised you think bluntness is so bad considering some of the things you posted as your alter-ego.

  16. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    How irrelevant to the subject of this thread.
  17. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Again, I think absolute zero-tolerance policies can occasionally get us into positions that are difficult, El ( sorry, I can't bring myself to call you "Smelly" [​IMG]). There aren't many rules in life that weren't made to be broken under exceptional circumstances.
    For instance, it's easy to have a "no eating in class" policy: but what do you do with the child who genuinely has a raging sore throat and asks if they can suck a Strepsil? I've always said that's okay, just go ahead, and the respect I get back for being sensitive to their needs is worth it, and I lose absolutely nothing by having a policy that is tolerant rather than zero-tolerant.
    I also know a few IT teachers who bemoan the fact that mobile phones can be extremely useful in their teaching!
  18. Yes Raymond it is but complaining about that isn't going to change that it was you who changed the subject in the first place.
    I am starting to get the impression that when someone disagrees with you your response is to accuse them of poor netiquette (despite your alter-egos recent infringements) or accuse them of trying to pick a fight.
    You then publicly criticise those who respond to your accusations as if it wasn't you who made them.

  19. I understand your frustrations.

    There was one girl in my lesson who had a similar situation, she had a relative in hospital or something like that, but she spoke to her head of year about it who emailed all teachers letting us know before hand that that particular student was to be allowed to use her mobile phone, but that she must ask to leave the classroom before doing so so no other students could see. Which I thought was okay. I think, in some circumstances and with prior permission, as long as it's kept away from other students so it doesn't make them all want to do the same thing, it's okay. If they were asking and making a big deal of it in front of other students, then that's disruptive and undermines your authority with the rest of the kids who, understandably, don't understand why they too are not allowed to use their phones.
  20. I don't think you have be zero tolerent about rules if you have tolerent students. It'd be more trouble than its worth to allow a Strepsil in some of the schools I've worked in before.

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