Friday, November 20, 2015

Caught with Cell Phone


Friday. I had a very small, very well-behaved ELL class. (ELL stands for English language learners, meaning that they're fairly new to the country and not all that fluent in English yet.) The first thing on the agenda was SSR. (Silent sustained reading, meaning that they're supposed to pull out a book and read for 10-15 minutes.)

Most had books. A couple of the students explained that they usually read on their phones. This is not the first time I've heard this, so I allowed it. (Making sure they were reading books and not texting, of course.)

The room got silent. They were all reading. So, I got busy with something else. (I don't remember what. I was either writing something or reading something.)

Then the assistant principal and a counselor walked in. As is usual, a pair of them will walk into class to do a "dress code check". I recognize what they're there for right away, so I nod when they tell me. They gaze around the room and generally they walk right back out. Which is what they did this time.

It was only after they left that I remembered--two of the students had cell phones out. Um...

I had kind of hoped not to be caught allowing cell phones out. But then again, more and more teachers are using them in their lesson plans. And it wasn't like the students were goofing off.

But still, I felt like I had been caught doing something I shouldn't have been. Even though I didn't get into trouble for it.

18 comments:

  1. Too cute; the teacher getting worried about cell phone usage :) I actually like the idea of the ELL classes :)

    betty

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    1. It's necessary in this area. Many of them come from Spanish speaking countries, but not all. I used to be scared of covering them, but I find that if I speak slowly (for the beginning classes) we usually are able to communicate fairly well.

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  2. Dress code checks???? Wow! Those sure don't happen at our school. Half the girls would be sent home. I am amazed at what parents allow these kids to wear to school and what the schools let them get by with. I guess I am just old-fashioned. There is a rule at the kids school for NO CELL PHONES, but they ignore that rule too! The kids tell me most of their teachers are on theirs for the entire class period too. I wonder what they would do with their time if they didn't have phones.

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    1. They keep after them to adhere to the dress code. Which isn't all that restrictive, really.

      Cell phones can be used for educational purposes sometimes. Like looking up words. Or if they need a calculator. There's even a website that lets people log and use their cell phones to answer questions posed by the teacher. It's all interactive in real time. It's a great test review tool.

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    2. I work at a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) school here in Australia, with smart phones being so great now a number of our kids just have a really good mobile (what we call cell phones ;) ) and don't bother with a tablet or laptop. They can take notes (the size of the latest iPhone and Samsungs make it possible), use the internet, access the school portal, almost all our textbooks are online/ebooks as well. It makes sense for a lot of reasons, they only have to carry one expensive thing (because no matter what we say, they will have phones anyway, and with some kids travelling up to an hour and a half each way by public transport, of course their parents want them to have a phone).

      In my Year 8 film class last semester we made a smart phone movie - the whole thing had to be written, storyboarded, shot AND edited on the phone prior to submission. The kids LOVED it because it proved exactly what they could do with what they had, not the fancy cameras and stuff they thought they needed. (High school here is Year 7 to Year 12).

      And hey, if they really want to livetweet my class, well i want a link to the hashtag :D

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  3. How funny that you were the one who was worried. I suppose they're going lax on the cell phone thing because a lot of people do use them for reading and stuff. I think the idea of dress code checks is totally gross, though. It just seems like they're blaming girls for being "distractions".

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  4. I wonder if the vice-principal and the counselor didn't want to create a stir-up with the Sub in charge. Or in front of each other.
    Good job.

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    1. That could have been it. The class was silent. And reading. They could probably tell the kiddos were reading books and not texting. (At least, that's what I think happened.)

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  5. That's got to make it tough to check up on students when they're using phones. They may well have been doing their work, but it's harder on the teachers.

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    1. I don't know about that. They're not very good at pretending to work when they're not, so I tend to find out when they're not on task.

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  6. I thought this was going to be about a student breaking the rules, not you!

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    1. I don't know if I was actually breaking any rules. If the teacher really lets them read on their phones, that is.

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  7. I get that feeling every single time i have to visit the Principal! Obviously a holdover from a misspent youth since i still get jittery when i stand outside the principal's office :D

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    1. I kind of hold my breath every time administration walks in. Most times I'm pretty lucky--they're either working quietly, or they're working well and I'm obviously "on task".

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  8. We have a lot of ESL students here too . One of our libraries includes a very busy learning center for adults. I think it's still primarily Somali. We are often a resettlement area for refugees .


    Other library news, a couple of African American young men, stopped into my little library. One asked me if I had a copy of a book (I wish I remembered how he described it). I figured out what book he was was talking about and that there were 2 copies checked in at other locations. His friend started complaining that he was sick of driving him to every library in town trying to find it. The first young man replied that he had been reading it at the workhouse and didn't get to finish it and it was really bugging him. It was a pretty long book about a group of soldiers in one of the World Wars. Our prison outreach works.

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