Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This Again?

It was 5th period yesterday.  I had just finished helping a student with a problem.  I noticed that the three boys sitting behind her didn't have books or work out, and it didn't look like they were going to start any time soon.  It was time to lay on the guilt trip that never works.

That's when I saw the boy at the end of the row using his cell phone.

I'm too nice.  I know I am.  Instead of confiscating his cell phone, I gave him a warning.  I told him if I saw him with his cell phone again, I would confiscate it.

Later in the period, the girl needed my help again.  (She was working on algebra word problems.)  I glanced at the boy.  He had his hands below his desk in "the position".

I didn't want to get into it with him again.  I pretended I didn't see...until he took the cell phone out from under his desk.  He was clearly texting.

I went over to him to confiscate it.  He cried foul.  ("I didn't see you there.")

He didn't want to give up his cell phone.  I warned him that this would result in a referral.  He told me he was turning his cell phone off as he finished the text that had gotten him caught in the first place.  (As if I don't know that it only takes him hitting one button to turn the thing off.)  Then he reluctantly turned it over.

I had enough time to hide the cell phone under some papers on the teacher's desk before it was time to clean up.  The bell rang, the class filed out, and the boy came up to me to talk me into giving him his cell phone back.

I guess I'm too nice.  He seemed to think he'd succeed.  It was a good thing the phone was hidden, or else I'm sure he would have picked it up and left the room.  As it was, he tried every trick he could think of from bribery ("I'll give you a dollar") to begging ("But I need it after school") to the old broken record trick.  He even asked for that referral instead.

He spent the entire five minute passing period trying to wheedle the phone back.  When the bell rang, I asked if he had a 6th period.  He said he did.  I told him he'd better get to class.  He asked me for a note excusing him from being late.  (I refused.)

I did have 6th period off, so I immediately went to the office and turned in the offending phone.  I wasn't terribly surprised when the boy returned just before 7th period.

I explained that I had turned his phone in to the office.  He said it wasn't there.  Who did I turn it in to?  Where was it now?  I was lying.  It wasn't there.  I had to still have it.  Couldn't I just give it back to him now?

I didn't know what else to say.  If he didn't believe the truth...

He warned the incoming class that I was a terrible person, and that they should guard their cell phones.

I didn't have another cell phone problem in 7th period.  I didn't think I would.  The last student I confiscated a cell phone from was in class.


  1. I'm too nice too when I sub. I really need to work on being meaner. Good job for holding out and not giving in!

  2. I comment you! That is the way to do it. If you have that group again, I am sure they will remember you and not pull that again because you showed who is in charge. Way to go!

  3. Emily-
    Thanks. It does get easier the more you do it.

    Thanks. Unfortunately, I know from experience what happens if I do give in, so that keeps me from wavering.


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