Opinion
Education Opinion

Is this ringing in my pants bothering you?

By Katie Hanifin — May 07, 2009 1 min read

Today I had to tell one my male students that it was a bit awkward that his hands repeatedly fidget with something in his pocket below the desk. If you’re now horrified (because I am, in fact, a high school teacher), don’t worry, it’s just a cell phone.

However, to many educators, the cell phone is the bane of our professional existence. My school has a no cell phone policy that is completely ignored by students and heavily debated by faculty. These devices are everywhere, either hanging out of the pockets of their low-slung jeans or glued between their ear and their shoulder.

In the midst of a heated discussion on cell phone confiscation at a faculty meeting, where a prize was suggested for the teacher with the highest acquistion, at least one phone went off. We collectively looked around the room for the interruption, knowing it could very well have been our own.

To make matters much worse, my neighboring teacher has the audacity to implement a cell-phone-based project. Around 70 [GASP!] students will be given iPhones for the next month to use DURING THE SCHOOL DAY [TISK-TISK]. A nutrition project funded by Cornell, the students will be tracking their meals and relaying information. I have no other choice [HUFF] than to never speak to this infidel colleague again.

I return to my class and find the need for a few extra stopwatches for a small group activity. I tried hitting up the PE dept. with no luck. Just as I was about to give up, a few students pulled out their cell phones - slowly, cautiously - as if offering a wild animal a scrap of meat to deter the attack. As it turns out, their cell phones each had a stopwatch feature built in. I was suddenly in possession of more than I would possibly require to run the activity, and many helpful students wanting to volunteer.

It’s not easy for me to admit that Cornell University researchers apparently know a bit more than me about technology. [SNIFF] It turns out these little devices are useful. That must be why we use them so much. Now I have to make amends with my neighbor, maybe I’ll send her a text.

The opinions expressed in Teaching Generation Tech are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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