Ding. Buzz. Beep Beep. Whoop.
We are only in school for seven hours a day and those precious minutes are disrupted with the constant noise of the latest social gossip or a reminder to grab milk on the way home.
Phones poison our learning and must be turned off and put away. They are just too much of a disruption, and students have shown time and again they are not mature enough to handle such responsibility.
Not only do they distract the user but also other students. If a person is listening to music with headphones, and the volume is turned up enough to hear across the classroom, then teachers should confiscate the device until they can learn self-control.
Those poor teachers. They struggle to do the job of teaching when they spend all their time telling kids to put away their phones.
A fiction perpetrated by youth is that phones are a good learning tool. Kids say they use their phones to look up information for the class; instead, they are wasting time on CNN’s Snapchat discovering the latest world event or texting their mom to find out about their grandmother’s surgery. Even if they were looking up things for the class, it makes the students less resourceful and more dependent on the phone for answers. Like students in the idyllic one room school house of our past, teens today should learn to use their brain to think instead of letting the phone do it for them.
Surely, students can see the harm these devices cause. Even though phones are students’ private property, they should step into each classroom and willingly hand their mobile to the teacher in the beginning of class. Though many have part time jobs and drive cars, they cannot be trusted to put their phones away themselves; it’s better that they hand them to their adult teacher who is also the babysitter.
Take phones for the entire day
In fact, a student’s first block teacher should just keep the device for the whole day. During passing time, students should utilize their time by thinking about the information they learned in class. Phones shouldn’t be allowed in the hallways. Students should be using every second of their school day learning.
Even at lunch they could use their time more wisely. Teachers should stand in the hallways making sure no one is on his or her phone. Some students leave the school ground for lunch, but they should not be allowed to take their phone with them. The school is responsible for the safety of its students and texting and driving is a serious risk.
Maybe students should put their phones in boxes as soon as they enter the building. That is the only way to make sure students are not distracted during school hours. They can get their phones back at the end of the day.
Of course, some students are so addicted to their phones that they will not part from their phone and will not put their phone in the boxes. So before stepping inside of the school building, students backpacks should be searched to make sure they are not bringing any electronics into the school. Police could use trained dogs that sniff for electronic devices and greet students as they leave their cars and busses.
Come to think of it, that policy doesn’t go far enough. Cellular devices are so harmful to students’ learning and to their personal safety that we shouldn’t even allow students to own them during the whole school year. Any student discovered with a phone on school grounds or even within the city limits should be immediately suspended.
These strategies must be implemented this very year before it’s too late. Write our school board. Better yet, text them.