While some teachers have taken to embracing the iPods and other handheld gadgets to which they find more and more kids tethered, Mr. Lawrence is no longer one of them.
There is a very good reason why, the other day, the principal of a local high school came on over the intercom and barked about the obscene amount of electronic equipment floating around the school. He's not just talking about those ubiquitous iPods, he also means digital cameras, Palm Pilots, camcorders, cell phones and hand-held video game systems. He wants them gone and I want them gone.
At first, I foolishly thought the prevalence of iPods and CD Players, in some cases, were actually good things. Say a student doesn't want to do the work I assign, well I thought, "if they're not inclined to work, maybe they'll sit there and listen to their music and shut up." But stupid me, that hasn't happened. They play their music loud - with the noise screaming out of the headphones - and talk over them so their voices are doubly loud. And then there are those "gotcha" photo moments where they decide it's funny to photograph me when I'm not looking (I can only hope the nude body they Photoshop my head on is a model, but somehow I doubt it).
What, you might wonder, does Mr. Lawrence want for Christmas? You guessed it--a shiny black iPod.
(From Get Lost, Mr. Chips.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.