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Should Substitutes Allow Cell Phones?
Old 09-18-2017, 06:35 PM
 
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Hello,

I was curious about what other subs and teachers think about allowing subs to motivate students with cell phone use? I subbed today and saw that if I stated to the entire class that if they finished the only assignment they had and behaved well then they could be on the phones for the last 5 minutes of class. This worked well for almost all the classes I subbed. They had their nose to the grindstone and finished the packet with enough time to deserve said cell phone allowance. Times have certainly changed since I was their age in school but I wanted to get some advise if what I'm doing is okay or completely insane.


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Old 09-18-2017, 07:26 PM
 
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What grade were you teaching, middle or high school? Elementary and middle schools in my district do not allow cell phones out and so I don't have to deal with them and I would not offer them as motivation. One reason I avoid high school is so I don't have to deal with the phones.
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Grade difference
Old 09-18-2017, 08:24 PM
 
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At high school there's not a lot you can do about the cell phones, at middle school I allow them out to do research if there are no chrome books available and they obviously have to do research to complete their assignments otherwise no cell phones. I do not sub elementary.
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Start with school policy...
Old 09-19-2017, 01:47 AM
 
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I'd start with school policy, then carefully consider the degree to which you'll enforce it. You really don't have a lot of choices under most policies I've seen. I saw a kid (middle school) with his cell phone out while he was helping me with kinders. (We are doing some structured mentoring, I had a handful of eighth graders working with me.) I said to him "I didn't see that and I won't see it again, right?" He smiled sheepishly and shook his head in agreement. By policy, I should have sent him to the office. (Middle Schoolers may only use their phones before school, during recess/lunch, and after school.)
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working for or against
Old 09-19-2017, 03:07 AM
 
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If it's part of the instructional plan by the regular teacher, I would be okay with it. Using it as a form of incentive leads to a slippery slope.


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Depends
Old 09-19-2017, 05:12 PM
 
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NOT at the middle school, where they are only allowed before and after school. At the high school, I follow their rules. The kids can have them between classes. But after the bell, they are to be put away. Every student has a chromebook, so they don't need their phones. Sometimes, they are allowed to listen to music during their work time. I walk around the room and make sure they aren't texting or on inappropriate sites. Since most don't have unlimited data, and the district blocks most social media sites, they are pretty good about it. If they are done with their work, they can be on their phones as long as they are quiet. With a block schedule, there are many times they run out of work before the end of the very long periods. Some teachers have said NO PHONES, and I respect that. Then they can visit quietly with neighbors or work on other assignments on their Chromebooks.
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I don't
Old 09-20-2017, 07:42 PM
 
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I don't allow cell phones, too many times I've been videoed without permission at the middle school level. High school students grasp the privacy aspect and elementary students don't have cell phones. I write on the board under my name "No phones in class" and I verbally tell the students no phones in class.

This way, I'm covered in case the principal does a walk through. Any phones that are out it's on the student(s) and not me.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:33 AM
 
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Schools usually have a clear cell phone policy in place. Check that first. If this is within school policy, then I would check with the regular teacher next. Its always best to stay within the realms of what is ok or not ok with the teacher that you are subbing for.

For instance in my classroom if I found out that my students were playing on their cell phones when finished with work, I would know that they had clearly played the sub. My students know that when they finish work they are expected to read their independent read book.
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If the teacher said it was okay
Old 10-04-2017, 05:49 AM
 
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And it's actually In her lesson plans, then yes, I would allow it. I have also allowed cellphones at the high school level when we are working on geography because the books that they have are so old that they still have the USSR as one big piece of land.

That said, I normally don't have a cell phone in my room at all. But it honestly depends. If the kids are doing busy work and they ask to listen to music and the music is on your cell phone, I will normally say yes. Especially if they have proven to be trustworthy. You got to be able to read a room very quickly in this business.
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