Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Monitor


The Learning Center is a room where RSP students can drop by to get extra help with their assignments. (RSP is a special ed. classification. If you were to rank the different special ed. classifications, RSP is at the top. Many of them take regular classes, and generally they just need a little extra help with things.)

The Learning Center is manned by one special ed. teacher each period, and on this day I was covering 4th and 5th periods.

Tito came in about half way through 4th period. He had a test. He returned 5th period because he hadn't finished that test. But he was doing an awful lot of talking...

He had been in the Learning Center for more than 20 minutes. He had done 3 problems of his business math test. Immediately I saw the problem. His cell phone.

"But I don't understand #4."

As it was a test, I couldn't do too much, but I could read through the problem with him. Basically, someone had a bunch of bowling balls. They sold some. They got some more shipped in. How many bowling balls did they end up with?

Um... Considering he's in 11th grade, this problem shouldn't have been an issue. So, I decided to remove the distraction.

Oh, he howled, but he did give me his cell phone. I put it near me and let him get to work.

20 minutes later I returned to check on his progress. He still hadn't done #4.

So, I stood over him and tried to guilt him into doing something. But he couldn't be guilted. He noticed me standing there.

"Did I get a text?"

Because, obviously, I was watching his cell phone and would immediately let him know?

Apparently, removing the cell phone wasn't enough to remove it as a distraction. Sigh.

(The others who work the Learning Center tell me this is his usual M.O., so I didn't feel too bad about getting no work out of him.)

37 comments:

  1. It's crazy that we live in a world so filled with distractions. When I went to school, there were no such things as cell phones. They simply didn't exist. I wonder how all of the technology has made the world a worse place than before.

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  2. Wow! Teens and kids these days are all about their cell phones. SMH

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    1. He's an extreme example, but yeah.

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  3. It's ridiculous how focused kids are on their cell phones and other tech devices. That's pretty sad that an eleventh grader couldn't solve such a simple problem. Even my fourth grader son could figure that out!

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    1. He is special ed, but I think it was more of a choosing not to do anything rather than a lack of understanding.

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  4. Kids are so glued to their phones. One day it will be possible to have a device permanently attached, and that will be frightening.

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  5. Sounds frustrating but some kids really do have such a hard time focusing. I can't help but wonder if some alternative method of teaching might not work better--a way to make it hands-on or something. Or I see some experiments with putting kids on stationary bikes at their desk--like for some kids moving physically can slow down the distractions or something. I think the phone is a crutch more than anything else--something to do because he can't concentrate anyway.

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  6. Oh my he really just wanted his phone. You took away his extra appendage. It would be like someone taking the remote away from me. I can't concentrate and I get the shakes:)

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  7. Thing is who is texting him or calling him? Shouldn't they also be in school and not using their cell phones?

    betty

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    1. Yes, presumably they would also be in class. The cell phone problem is widespread.

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  8. I would never let a kid have a cell phone in class. Students should have to leave them in their lockers and not bring them along to use in class instead of paying attention. No wonder none of the kids learn anything these days.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Unfortunately, they do not have lockers. (It's a quirk of the district.)

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  9. It sounds like he would have had trouble concentrating even if he had no phone at all. So I think people can calm down about cell phones ruining the kids...

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  10. My grandson was visiting over the weekend. Let me clarify, my 4 year old grandson. I can honestly say he has an addiction to his iPad. I tried to keep it away from him as much as possible,playing games with him, taking him to the park, etc. He kept begging me for the device. I do believe his dependence is going to have a negative effect when he begins pre-school in Sept. I thought about talking to his mom about it, but she is the daughter-in-law and a single mom.
    But, I see you observe the effects of this sort of thing on a daily basis don’t you?

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  11. What I love in your little annecdotes is just how cheeky the kids can be -- like Tito asking you if he got a text when you removed his phone. It's quite funny to hear of but it must be really frustrating at times!

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    1. It can be frustrating. But then other times my first thought is "comedy gold!". The crazier it is, the more likely I am to go, "Got my blog post for today".

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  12. There's a comedian who said in one of his standups to an audience, "I'll bet you're all thinking about your phone right now. Is someone texting me? I really need to check it..." He said even when we aren't on our phones, we're so addicted we're thinking about them!

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  13. I must say I don't care about my phone. No one ever texts me except my kids who just want to know what's for dinner so they can decide whether it's worth coming home for. They are never off theirs however.

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    1. I'm with you. I only pull mine out when I have a break and nothing else to do. The rest of the time I engage with the world around me.

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  14. It still baffles me that kids are allowed to bring their cell phones to school at all. At the very least the phones should remain in their lockers during class for the very reason that they ARE distracting.

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  15. This post made me sad. Education is much more important than waiting for a text. :(

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    Replies
    1. He is in the minority. Most students do leave their phones put away and engage in class.

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  16. I thought cell phones were not allowed in the class room. Kids have always had distractions of sorts, but technology has really pinned kids attention in an unbelievable way. I don't think we'll have turn back to a simpler time.

    Thanks for stopping by yesterday!

    ~Curious as a Cathy

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  17. That's horrible that the kid is that addicted to his phone.

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    1. Yes, it is. It would be nice if his parents would ground him from it for a time.

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  18. It's a sad state of affairs, yet again he is in special ed, even if a higher functionality rate. Seems kids, in general, are far more distracted these days, or maybe this was always the case, just different distractions going around. I hear about it from parents all the time. I experience some of it.

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    1. Yeah, the special ed is definitely a component to consider. Not all kids are that attached to their phones.

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  19. Addiction to cell phones is a new terrible thing.

    Oh, how I hope he rose beyond the phone, and could finish the test. RSP students have enough to deal with altogether.

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    1. Nope. I don't think he got beyond #3.

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  20. Cell phones should be banned during class. Turn them in, then when they leave they can get them. This is a good reason why kids aren't learning.

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    1. Yeah, but where do you put them? Who makes sure that the cell phone gets back to its proper owner?

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  21. Sometimes we have trouble getting Mr Bunches to focus, too, and he particularly hates math. Some kids can get obsessed with something to the point where they need to get it out of their system before they can do anything. It's like an 'earworm' only in their entire body. Hopefully this kid was just waiting to hear from a girl or something.

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    1. No, from what I'm told, he just generally does nothing. At some point this will impact him. Likely when he learns he's not graduating.

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  22. I get so frustrated with the g-kids are texting during the school day. When I ask them about it, I say: Aren't you supposed to have your phones put away while in class. What are the teachers saying?" They answer: "They don't say anything. They are on their phones too.? Sadly I think it is true!

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    1. Some teachers don't say anything. Those are the hardest classes for me. When they're used to having their phones out in those classes, enforcing the school policy is hard.

      But, other teachers are strict about phones, and in those classes I have no problems.

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  23. Quite an achievement to get the phone off him! Some teenagers seem to have the welded to their hands these days.

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