Friday, March 22, 2013

Pressure to Help a Peer

Freshman English class. They had a poetry comprehension test.

It was a big group, and they were way too excited to see a sub. But somehow I managed to get them silent and started. Everything was going great...until someone's cell phone rang.

At this point I'm perfectly justified in confiscating the thing. But she wasn't actually on her phone. Sometimes the students forget to turn them off. So, I told her to turn the phone off, and I thought that was the end of it.

But these were freshmen. (14-year-olds.) Someone's phone rang? Oh, that's a conversation to have.

I shushed them, but they wouldn't go back to silent. So then I tried an experiment.

"If you guys can't settle down, then I'm going to have to confiscate the phone."

In about two seconds, the room hit silent again.


It's good to know that they'll pull together so that one of their own doesn't lose her cell phone.


  1. Well, obviously a cell phone is the most important thing in the world. How would she be able to live without it?

  2. So... you have harnessed PEER PRESSURE? You are about 1 step away from ruling the world, if you can control 14 year olds.


I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.