Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have To Break The Rules

Packemin in cracking down on electronic device use. The kids have been told that if they are caught using one of these, it will be confiscated and returned only on Fridays afternoons to a parent.

I'm not big on confrontations so I have been reading them the riot act in hopes of not seeing these things and not having to make an issue out of them. So far, most of the kids have been pretty cooperative. If I happen to see one, I just tell them to put it away "before I see it."

I keep my own cell phone in my pocket at all times. I worry about my 84 year old dad who lives alone and would never call unless it was an emergency. I am all he has. While school rules should be obeyed, my dad comes before any of those rules and on the rare occasion my phone rings, I answer it.

Just as I got the last words out about the new cell phone regulations, my phone rang. I stopped mid sentence to answer it. The kids were silent. When I realized it was a wrong number and hung up, they got on my case for answering it. I explained my reasons to them. I also said I would be more than reasonable if any of them were in a similar situation. They forgave my indiscretion. One girl said "I hate my father. If he was lying on the ground, I would walk over him. Miss, you are so lucky." I then told them that I had the best dad in the world and I would do anything for him.

We ended the conversation and got to work. I won't worry about my phone ringing in that class again.


17 (really 15) more years said...

I know it's a bit of a slippery slope- but I always tell the kids that they will not put themselves in the same category with me. I can answer my phone in the event of an emergency. Having said that, I'm not big on confiscating phones, etc. Unless they're texting in class, I just tell them to put it away, because I do respect their parents's wish to be able to contact their kids on their way to and from school.

Most phones have a way of making a special ring tone for a specific person. This way, if your phone rings and it's your dad's "special ring tone", you will answer it- otherwise, you can just let it ring.

Pissedoffteacher said...

I answer every call because I worry it can be a hospital or a stranger that found him lying in the street.

I'm too paranoid to take any chances.

17 (really 15) more years said...

It's not paranoia- it's simply a matter of being a realist. This is what happens when you have an elderly parent and you are all they have.

Miss Eyre said...

Unfortunately, I have to have a zero-tolerance policy. I have confiscated from the same kid more than once. I've also confiscated from good kids who clearly just forgot to put their phones on vibrate one time. But there are a handful of very prickly parents who would claim that I was picking on their baby by taking away the cell phone from which they text in class if I let go the nice kid who simply forgot one time, and they would raise an enormous stink.

To keep myself out of the trouble (and keep the burden on my administration), I confiscate everything, every time, no questions asked. I don't agree with the policy but I still have to enforce it.