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Mobile Phones

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by halfajack, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Anyone else finding pupils having their mobiles out in class is an ever-increasing problem? It's been a difficulty in my school since I started a year and a half ago but since Christmas it seems to have...snowballed(?)! I have a few pupils who cannot keep them away. They've been referred by me and other teachers, their parents have been called and have threatened to confiscate (but haven't). Every time my back is turned and I look back, these pupils are, they think surreptitiously, texting frantically or even wearing headphones they think are hidden by their hair. It's starting to drive me mad!

    I think the reason I'm posting about it now because the problem has led to a regrettable situation where one pupil reacted rather aggressively when I confiscated (with prior warning) his phone which he had left out playing music he thought I wouldn't hear! Before anyone criticises me for confiscating saying (as a lot think) we're not allowed to, my understanding is we're advised not to do so as we're then liable for loss/damage. I don't really care when it's causing so much disruption and I know it'll be safe locked in my drawer.

    It's as if there's a dark power at work here (possibly the spirit of the fancy new smartphone for Christmas). One of my classes worked especially well during their double period today so I let them pack up a few minutes earlier than usual and relax/chat - they all got their phones out immediately!

    Any tips on how to deal with this as a class teacher when whole school sanctions and contacting parents isn't working?
  2. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Sorry for the lack of paragraphing. Google Chrome ain't all that!
  3. I give any pupils a punny if they've got their phones out or if I can even see their headphones.
    Ask at the start of the lesson for everyone to put them away. Then if you have to **** on them you can rightly yell them they've been warned, not forgetting to write that on the punny. repeatedly do this over a period of time, maybe pick on your favourite pupil or two.
    Sometime I say something like "I'm pretty good but even I can only do one thing at a time" and the like.
    This is a good case of fighting a war. Lose a few battles along the way, sure, but hammer these guys in the long term. You have the other pupils' education to think about.
  4. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Oh my! Let's hope it doesn't come to that!
    We're not supposed to give punnies. However, I might try it with one class I have a particularly good relationship with (aside from the mobile phone issue) and seem keen to be made to do well, if that makes sense. It could perhaps be a class agreement if they can understand that the mobiles are a real disruption but they need a stricter hand to help them with their problem! Thanks, BJ.
  5. No problems, 1/2.
    I tell my classes fairly regularly-ish that mobile phones detract from what they're at school for, ie learning, then the I can only do one thing at a time thingy. Sometimes I also pretend that my classroom is a democracy and get "agreement" from pupils what to do/not to do. Give them a punny/demerit regardless of who it is (luck will have it that it will be the nicest pupil in the world!). Let the whole class know that this person broke the rules despite everything and that they knew what would happen, in other words use them as an example to the others.
    Another good thing to do, this time whilst taking the register. I tell my classes that by the time I've taken the register I expect them to have their jackets off, jotters out, open at a new page with the date and lesson title written (mobile phones away too), so that by the time I've taken the register we're all ready to start the lesson. After three times a week they should all be in the habit, they shouldn't even be told what to do when entering the classroom (Ha! If only that were true!).
    Again, give your classes a couple of weeks and you will see an improvement, and let us know if it works for you - it largely does for me, although I have no independent evidence to back up my claims . . .
    Sorry if this post seems a bit of a ramble.
  6. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    My LA policy is that mobis must be switched off during teaching time. It's actually under the LA photography policy as we had issues a few years ago about pupils using mobis to take photos of peers in PE dressing areas etc. More recently, kids have been using them to put films on Youtube
    Pupils are warned to switch off and if they repeat, it's taken off them and can be collected from school office at end of day. Works for huge majority of kids.
    Ask your union reps to raise the issue at your LNCT .
  7. Do you have any sanctions?
  8. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Yes, though I've found that none tend to work terribly well and, after working there for some time, I've realised the pupils will behave and work well only if they like you. That's presented a massive challenge for me when I've refused to go down the easy route to being liked!

    Dominie, my school does have a rule against mobile phones and MP3 players being out and on in class but, like all the rules, they're nigh on impossible to enforce completely for sustained periods of time, even if they do like you!

    I should add that I do enjoy working with my pupils in the main. Some things are just very, very difficult to overcome. I apologise now for the lack of paragraphing I predict
  9. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Forgot to say, we don't have a union rep. First port of call is the local association secretary's office.
  10. Was at the launch of the first CFE outcomes ( seems like a long time ago!) and they were advocating the use of mobiles etc in class to aid learning! Don't think they meant texting tho!
    Mebbe kids could text the teacher things like '***?' if they didn't understand something?


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