I am not the cell phone police and as long as the kids put them away when I ask, I don't make a big deal about seeing them out. Repeat offenders are asked for their phones and they usually hand them over because they know I will return them as soon as the class ends.
Tracy had her phone out and when I asked her to put it away, she did, but took it out again as soon as my back was turned. I then told her to give it to me.
Tracy: Ms, I have to finish my conversation.
Me: No, you have to start work. Give me the phone. I will return it when bell rings.
Me: You have a choice. Give it to me and you will get it back at the end of the period or I will call security and you will lose it until your mom comes in.
(At this point, the rest of the class just started yelling at her to give it to me. Only as I started walking to the phone did she oblige.)
At the end of the class when she came up to get it I told her she must have 10 messages because it was buzzing away in my pocket. She informed me that she was pissed at me and didn't do any work because I took the phone away. She then told me she wasn't letting me sign her conduct sheet for the day. "No big deal", I said, "I'm going to call your mom and tell her first hand."
Tracy has a very supportive mom. She was appalled at her daughter's behavior and said she was taking the phone away for a month. She then went on, to to excuse but to explain her daughter's behavior. "My husband and I are going through a divorce. Tracy spoke to her dad this morning and every time she does, he says something to set her off for the day."
Tracy came into class today and announced loudly, "I'm not talking to you today." I ignored her and her comment and walked around checking homework, making sure to bypass her. She then called, "Ms, I want to show you my homework." (It was beautifully done.) She then opened her notebook and began working, working harder than she has done all semester. At the end of the period, I wrote a glowing comment on her conduct sheet. She looked at me and said, "I'm still mad at you" but I saw the twinkle in her eye. We are passed yesterday. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?