Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Can you hear me now?

Yesterday a student calls me into the locker room to tell me his cell phone has been stolen. From his locker. That he had his own non-school issued lock on. That he had left the combination sticker on.

A cell phone he's not allowed to have in school.

Me: "Look thumper, what exactly do you want me to do about this?"

Him: "I'm not feeling good about this" (What the heck does that mean?)

Me: "Lets review the facts here.... you had a cell phone you are not allowed to have, in your locker on which you put a lock you are not allowed to have, and you left the combination sticker on the lock.... right? Why didn't you just put a sign up that said 'Steal my phone, please'?"

No... we had to shut everything down, get admin to cut their lunch short, and search everybody in the place. We turned up twenty one cell phones, but not the missing one. We'll never see it again, I am sure. If it was there in the first place.
(We had another youngen pipe up and say his was stolen too.... but he lacks credibility. He's already confessed to the Kennedy assassination and fathering an alien love child with Brittany Spears.)

On the bright side, a surprise mega-search turned up no weapons or drugs. Thats a plus!

Today we'll let the class know in detail our displeasure at having to deal with juvenile BS like this. They need to understand that any such issues will make life hell for everyone unless someone man's up at light speed to make it right. Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing at times.

I think four hours of theory on nuts and bolts will be about right... with copious notes and a suitable test. We might.... just might..... throw washers in just for the excitement.

Gotta keep it educational now.......

On the other hand, I learned something myself. I asked some of them why anyone would steal a used cell phone... in my world it would be worth bupkis. It was explained to me the fancy ones can cost over $400 retail, and $100 on the street. Swap a SIM chip and it's now your phone..... who knew? I have never paid for a cell phone in my life.....


Anthony said...

Stolen cell phones are a big business. I live in Reading (I am sure you are familiar with at least the name as you have gone to the Ren Faire) and while I have never had my cell phone stolen (reach into my pocket and I take your fingers) my brother's phones have both been stolen. And it is very common to have a junkie selling cell phones...very nice cell phones for very cheap.

Somerled said...

Send the miscreants to some old goat's shop like mine. There are buckets and buckets of bolts, nuts and washers my Dad accumulated that need to be sorted and put in the proper bins.

Damn cell phones ... how does one get any work done with those critters disrupting thoughts?

Crucis said...

Like it or not, cell phones are a fact of life. More and more folks are dropping the land-line and going wireless. It time to move out of the 19th century.

Rather than making cell phones verboten, it'd make more sense to have people put them on their desks and turn them off so you'll know they are off. Having them out in plain sight makes it easier to tell if someone is goofing off. Alternately, it's hard to have one stolen if it's in your pocket.

Test time? Put those phones out in plain sight, turned off. It's hard to cheat that way. Too many people? Have them bring their phones up and put them on your desk. They can get them back when they turn in the test.

Still can't manage them? Get a jammer and turn it on during test time. There are many options out there.

Earl said...

I don't have a cellphone, and as the noise and electronic tethers expand into my space - I am amused by them and offended by them, and sure am sorry that your day was disturbed by them, but look at that next generation so far ahead of mine in technology. Aren't they the thing!

Shrugged says: said...

The school rules echo my program rules on cell phones. They are not supposed to be in school... which I interpret to mean "If I don't see one or hear one, then there's nothing I need to deal with". If I see or hear it, then I follow the discipline rules to the letter.

There are a few good reasons why a student might need a phone in school.... two that come to mind from experience: A sick family member and being called into work after school. I make exceptions in cases like that... they can use my desk phone if they need to and ask first. I have never told a student he could not use my phone... ever.... in years of teaching.

Reasons why a student should not have a phone in class? It's a huge distraction.... when we FIGHT to keep their attention on the subject they signed up for. On top of that, we as instructors have nightmares over video and camera phones. There have been dozens of cases where students arrange amongst themselves to actively harrass a teacher till he snaps, then film him and post it.
Sure... a teacher should never snap... but when enough teenagers make it their goal, over a long enough time...... especially knowing there will be no punishment for doing it.

Really, this case here was about responsability. The student broke a number of rules, and did a few stupid things, then launched a whine fest when reality caught up with him. He wanted 'someone' to fix his screwups and make it all good....

Today he commented.... "So that's it, my phone is gone and nothings going to be done?". I answered by recounting, point by point, every mistake he had made that led to his phone being stolen, then I asked him exactly what did he expect anyone to do that might make up for his errors? He had no answer of course.... he just wanted 'something' done...

Welcome to life pal.... dumb mistakes come with a price. At least this one didn't draw blood. I have students with stabbing scars brought on by 'lack of judgement'.

Somerled said...

"So that's it, my phone is gone and nothing's going to be done?"

My response, "Trot down to the police department and file a report. Give them the phone make, model and serial number. That will allow the police to enter the phone in the National Crime Identification Center stolen property database. Call your service provider, look at your contract to see if you purchased theft coverage, and contact your insurance company.

Do you have any questions about the classwork? It's a good thing I'm a teacher instead of a loss prevention specialist."

Anthony said...

I always carry my cell phone, even into my university courses, but when in those settings it is ALWAYS silenced so it will not distract anyone. But if an emergency should arise than it is handy.

With that being said I am also a responsible human being who relies on myself. That kid should have taken responsibility instead of looking for a scapegoat. I always keep my phone close because I pay for my phone and my phone bill and quite frankly I can not afford to buy another phone should this one be lost or stolen.

My sense of autonomy and my thin wallet give me a high sense of self responsibility that those kids need to learn. What they need is someone with a big boot and a jerky knee to give them a swift kick.