Great Idea I Keep Forgetting to Share

Last year, when I was teaching at Olinder, one of the students, M, desperately desired a cell phone.  His parents, surprisingly, were a lot like me.  Why do you need a phone when I know where you are and if you’re not there I’m going to make your life miserable when I find you kind of people.  Mad props!

However, they were not unreasonable or stupid.  They knew that simply stating a cold, hard fact would simply breed resentment.  They went to the good parent’s next greatest tool in the box.  They gave a conditional yes.  Yes, you may have a phone as soon as you…

Well, he had to carry a dummy cell phone for a month.  Whenever one of his parents asked, he had to produce it quickly.  Needless to say, this very bright child still did not have a cell phone by the end of the year.  He tended to lose them within a week or two.

I have always felt that this was a great solution.  I really still DO NOT understand why parents arm children with cell phones so early.  The usual response is, “What if something happens?”  OK, what if?  Truly, what is really going to happen to your 8-year old at school that you can solve on the other end of the phone?  Seriously?  Usually I hear stuff like, “I need to know where to pick him up after school.”  HELLO — walk.  It’s good for the student, it’s good for the environment, it makes them responsible for themselves.  Better yet, walk with them.  Or, I don’t know, talk to him before you drop him off and agree.  Hold him accountable for his actions.  Trust me both his teacher and society will thank you for it.

I know that I’m both harsh and judgemental.  However, I have to say that when a cell phone goes off in class, it’s always the parents.  Yes, the parents are calling the kids, at school, to see how they are, to check in, because they miss them.  Parents, I say this in kindness, GET A LIFE.


3 thoughts on “Great Idea I Keep Forgetting to Share

  1. justaglimpse says:

    Yeah, and by the way your god son has had a cell phone for 2 years. But you know the story. Rehearsal got over early and he couldn’t call me. There he set for an hour. He rarely uses it. It comes in handy when we go places.

  2. ashersimons says:

    I can see where you’re coming from, somehow I survived running through the house with scissors, electric plugs without finger protectors and playing in the street till dark without a cell phone! However I do see a point in parents giving kids a pre paid cell phone like a $9.99 Tracfone as a once off gift, if they loose it or break it, it’s gone. Budgeting to buy pre paid minutes can teach kids financial responsibility as well as not to be wasteful with their minutes. It can also give a parent leverage like: if you don’t……I’ll take your phone away for the weekend. Teachers could make rules like: turn off cell phones during class or …….. Kids need to learn to be responsible for their actions and that can only happen when adults are prepared to give them a chance and follow through with the consequences of failing to be responsible.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Actually cell phones aren’t supposed to be out in the classroom at all. They are to be off or quiet since their use is outside the bells. I am serious about the parents, though. One student, V, would turn on her cell at the end of the day to find at least 3 text messages from her mom. What’s up with that?

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