New year leads to new cell phone policies

Cell phones are a big part of students’ and teachers’ daily lives. This year new cell phone policies have been incorporated into the subject department rules. “A new focus has arisen this year. We are trying to have more consistency on phone policies throughout the school. We also decided to try and have all the teachers on board with the new policies,” science teacher David Bitler said.
The math department has a “new bathroom policy where students have to leave cells phones in the room when they go to the bathroom,” math teacher Michelle George said.

The reason for this new rule is because students tend to go to the bathroom as an excuse to take a walk and use their phone to text their friends. “I think that cell phones can be a great tool, but when they are not being used as part of instruction they should be away so they don’t distract students,”

Teachers who previously had phone policies in their room edited and revised them for the new year. “For me the brand new part is I’m addressing it much more actively. I’m more proactive about having a policy in place to support learning,” Bitler said.

In the science department, teachers were highly encouraged to create policies for their classrooms. “It was encouraged that we make a new policy, and that was enough to make me sit down and address it myself,” Bitler said.

Some of the departments require the teachers to make policies. “The math teachers were expected to outline our expectations for cell phones in our classrooms,” George said.

Teachers have new rules that are specific to their classrooms. “For me specifically, I expect students to have their phones away unless they are being used for instructional activity. If students are not able to keep cellphones away, I have a safe space for them to put them during class. I also follow the math department policy,”George said.

Studies have proven that cell phones are distractors to students in schools. According to an article on care.com, the cons of cell phones are that they “are distractions, they make it difficult to enforce rules, and they may facilitate cheating.”

 

Adam Friedman

Staff Writer

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