I’m still trying to gauge the reaction I would have received if I would have called my father or mother asking them to come to the campus to pick up my cell phone while I was a Senior in high school. Well, first off I lived alone at that point so Mommy or Daddy weren’t going to bail me out. But let’s just play dreamland and assume I had the balls to call my parents and beg them to come get my phone.
Yeah, it wouldn’t go over well. And the maniacal laughter would be followed by a simple “No.”
Actually I couldn’t see myself calling my parents anyway. There is something demeaning about your Mom or Dad meeting the teacher to pick up a cell phone taken because the kid was playing with it in class. But I’ve had more parents come to my class in the last month than I have in the previous TWO YEARS to pick up cell phones for their kids. It’s amusing, a bit thoughtful, and a bit tragic.
So my policy is simple. If you are misusing it in class I take it for 24 hours. It’s locked away and safe and in the twelve years of practice I have never lost any electronic device. If a parent wants the phone they can come down and pick up the gadget while I tell them that Johnny couldn’t help getting on Facebook to check the status of a weekend LARPing session. Most parents don’t use this method of phone collection, except for this year. In fact, those parents that have elected to arrive to pick up the phones this year do so within two hours. Once parent was here in 45 minutes.
Now, out of the total number of parents that have come into my classroom a vast majority of them talk of strong repercussions for their phones being confiscated. That’s refreshing to hear, although I much rather they learn the lesson of not being psychologically attached to the device for the day instead of giving them back to the thing that caused the problem in the first place.
We have, after all, lived without cell phones before.