Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Nice day except for the cell phones

Good news! API up 25 points, and all 16 goals of the AYP where met as well! Back away Federal Government!

Why is it that at every faculty meeting, someone must step up and ruin a perfectly good day. Never mind that the air conditioning didn't work, and the 90 degree weather made the meeting feel like a sauna, or that the meeting last over an hour. The last item on the agenda, for some damn reason, was changing the cell phone policy. Currently, the rule is that cell phones are not to be powered on from 7:30 to 3:40 (the school day). All of the sudden, teachers want to changed the rule to allow cell phone calls at lunch only. Wonderful. Why am I against it?
-Terrific, now teachers set, and then change the rule two weeks into school. Makes us look like a bunch of toothless fools.
-Cell phones are a massive distraction, and allowing them on campus will create more problems in the classroom. I have a "no tolerance" policy to cell phones in the classroom. If they go off, for any reason, they are mine.
-Kids will see lunch, break time, and passing periods as the same thing. Good luck enforcing this rule.
-The teachers that want the rule said that the rule makes teachers look like "thugs in a police state". When a new teacher from Texas heard that comment, the look that came across his face was priceless. This campus is so liberal and open that "thugs in a police state" are the last things that come to mind.

The vote was 42-41 with about 20 abstentions for keeping the rule as is. In true democratic fashion, the principal made a "cell phone committee" to investigate the problem. Needless to say, I will not be on this committee. I was so irritated about the argument that I think I made a small scene at the meeting. Later that afternoon, I called the new vice principal (he taught next to me the last three years) and asked him if I came across like a jack ass. He told me that my initial point was great, but I grumbled too loudly and came across as trouble to other teachers. Wasn't a big deal, but he told me to remember who some of the teachers are and what their deal is.

After that, I remembered what my deal was. I teach, in the classroom. God. Sometimes I forget the whole point of school is to teach the kids, not worry about crap outside of the classroom. That's why I backed out of the Union, and backed away from getting burned out by basketball this summer. Where everything matters most in the classroom, not out on campus where nothing really goes on in the learning process. Does the cell phone rule really matter outside of the environment of my class? No. I wise man that I respect, and that talked to me yesterday, told me many times in the early morning, "The most important thing we do is in the classroom. Let them talk, you teach."

Amen.
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