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Sometimes I use my cell in the classroom
Old 04-09-2018, 05:40 PM
 
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I am a veteran sub and I do a good job controlling my classroom and teaching. If I have a good class, I will sometimes here and there check for jobs on my cell. Sometimes I send a brief text to my wife. If we're on a interesting topic in the class, I will do a quick search for a relevant article that provides more information. I will share this information with the class. Sometimes, I will use my cell as a calculator with the class or stop watch or show the class a relevant history picture on the topic were on.
I usually will sub for the same several schools a lot. Here and there I have to sub for a school once or twice during the year that I do not desire to sub at. These schools I sub once or twice a year are not my desired schools, because of their behavior problems and not a good administration (most of the time).
Since HR likely thinks I am a good sub in the few districts, do you think I could get in trouble with my cell use? I think good subs in districts could get away with more. Do you agree or disagree?
What are your thoughts/views on this?
I know I should not do it, but I do need the jobs and money. A lot of subs do it as well. I'm not excusing my behavior, but I do have two kids to support.
Not one kid has told on me about my cell use. Usually all or almost all of the kids like me. I have been caught before by a few teachers, maybe a principal once, but no one has ever talked to me about it.


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My view
Old 04-09-2018, 05:54 PM
 
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I use my cell as a timer. I've used it to look up things for students or to answer a quick question. I also use it to message the teacher (I let the students know ahead of time that I use it for these things). When my husband was just home from surgery for his broken leg, I left the ringer on low, but I told the students ahead of time. I also let the administrators know that I was doing these things. I even downloaded a whistle app for when I'm subbing in p.e. Showed it to the principal, and he just laughed. If we are using the phones for legitimate reasons, and the administrators know, it should be okay. But I don't shop, get on social media, or anything like that. Now, ask me about my Sudoku book collection in my sub bag.... I may do that during student work time. Or when they are watching a video.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:08 PM
 
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I shop for jobs when students are working and being good. Sometimes, I text when students are working as well.
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Phone Usage
Old 04-09-2018, 06:13 PM
 
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My theory....use your phone as needed, but be careful in using your phone in the presence of students.

We all use our phones during the day. Like mrsd5 said she does, we use our timer function a lot. We do check time, quickly check email, etc. A lot of times, it is easier for us to text each other reminders, tell a student to stay in at PE/Recess, etc. The students and admin know this. All of this, and what you stated that you do, is usually fine.

Why I say be careful is that if it looks like you are constantly on your phone, you could possibly get into trouble. I have seen subs that spend more time on their phone than actually working with students. I had to report a sub one time because despite the numerous times that I asked her to put the phone away and work with the students, she was still on Etsy, Amazon and other shopping sites. After about the 20th (I really asked her about 20 times), I had to let the principal know. I know you aren't doing what I just described, but is always good to use some caution.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:41 PM
 
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I treat the same as I do sitting at the teacher's desk when kids are in the room: LIMITED!


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Old 04-09-2018, 08:04 PM
 
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I usually leave it on the teachers'"s desk with the ringer off. I do also use it as a timer. Many of our schools have very poor WiFi and subs don't get the wifi password, so hunting for work is not possible. I mostly use it to keep track of time.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:53 AM
 
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I have never understood the rules against cell phone use for teachers or students. Cell phones can be very useful tools, or they can be a distraction. Depends how you use them.

As far as using them in the classroom, it really depends on how your particular school sees cell phone use, and also how you actually use it. I tend to check for jobs or text only between classes or during a break, but I will do relevant work with my phone (use it as a timer, calculator, or do a quick websearch for a useful fact, for example) during classes when necessary.

Students, teachers, and admin will eventually have to come to terms with cell phones and their appropriate use.

I'm old enough to know that kids will abuse any tool they are given if not taught. They make paper airplanes with paper, shoot paperclips around the room, and waste time sharpening pencils. We make rules to teach them how to use materials appropriately. The cell phone is no different.
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:05 AM
 
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Quote:
I think good subs in districts could get away with more. Do you agree or disagree?
Disagree, partly because I'm not sure:
  • Who decides who the "good" subs are? If she can do it, why can't I?
  • Get away with more than who? Students? Teachers?

I see teachers using their phones openly as timers--they are truly a minority in our district. I also see ed tech's sitting in the corner posting on Facebook. (Most smartphones don't require external wi-fi.) Interestingly, we had one parent complain to admin regarding an ed tech who was openly posting on Facebook while working. The tech claimed she was only doing while on break and refused to stop. Guess who ultimately won that battle?

For me personally, it's just not worth it. I carry a timer that I bought for a couple of bucks. I have on occasion used my phone when I'm alone in the room, on break, etc. but other than those rarities (3-4 times a day max) it's out of sight/out of mind. I rarely have time anyway.

I should note that our policy differs by grade level. In the lower grades we have a zero tolerance policy and I think I should abide by it. There is some flexibility in the higher grades, but I still am very selective and rarely use the phone. I'm remembering one day while teaching I absent-mindedly sat on an empty desk. One of the kids came over and whispered to me, "Mr. B, you're not supposed to sit on the desks." I appreciated her effort to keep me out of trouble and told her so.

Quote:
...do you think I could get in trouble with my cell use?
Yes, because it sounds like you are not following school policy by your own admission. The question you have to answer is how big a risk you are taking and whether or not it is worth it. If teachers and subs are commonly using their phones, the risk is smaller.

I'm not criticizing those who use their phones discreetly, but know that you are taking risks and (in my opinion) modeling a behavior that potentially confuses kids and could become problematic. If teachers are commonly doing it, then I suppose it's okay for a sub. But I don't think subs should "get away" with more than teachers/students in general. How many times have we heard kids whine, "It's not fair!" If a parent sent a phone to school with a kid and requested he/she be allowed to keep it on her desk today because "we are having a family situation," would we allow that?

It's interesting that are many "complaints" on other threads about cell phones, kids not following policy, etc. I think it's a fluid issue, one that we haven't figured out the answer to yet, but until we do, I think "following the rules" is the way to go.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:43 PM
 
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Today my exaggerated concern for cell phone rules in the classroom cost me as much as $175.


During 1st period in a high school class, I got a call from another district.


I did not pick up, especially since I did not know the nature of the call or how long I would be on the phone.

I worked 7.5 hours with only a 30 minute lunch break because I had brunch duty, and also had to work my prep period. There is no more than two minutes otherwise to make a call, and 30 minutes is barely enough time to get lunch. I have never had brunch duty at this school before.

I finally made a hurried call as students were coming into class after lunch.

The sub coordinator wanted me to work an easy five day assignment for elementary PE, which pays $160 per day instead of the usual $125. By the time i got back to her, she had given the job away.

Probably could have had it if I did not have brunch duty, but I did not want to be seen by hundreds of people on the phone at this time when I am supposed to be monitering the quad.
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There really is a big disconnect....
Old 04-11-2018, 05:47 AM
 
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....between how AESOP works and how sub coordinators contact subs and the cellphone policy is many schools. I always wonder why it doesn't occur to anyone that the people who can instantly pick up an assignment or answer their cell phone are either the people who break the cellphone usage rules or people who aren't working very much which MAY (not always) mean they just aren't that good of sub.

It all depends on the district, though. In my "best" district (the one that pays the most, treats the subs professionally and where, consequently, the jobs are hard to get) subs get sub logins and sometimes are actively told that it's okay to have AESOP up on the teacher computer. If you can do that, and if you get a phone alert to when a job goes up, you have a chance at accepting the job and it only takes a moment even if you have students in the room.

I don't answer my cellphone or accept jobs on it when I have students in the room. And yes, I have many times missed out on jobs that way. One of my districts won't give me a sub log-in, won't give me the password to the school guest wi-fi and cellphone coverage is a little unreliable in some buildings and some areas within the buildings. This district assigns subs in AESOP and has difficulty getting subs so I figure it's a way to keep us from accepting jobs in other districts. *sigh*

In the end, I guess it's a judgment call. My personal opinion, though, is that if you intend to enforce school rules regarding student cellphone usage, then it's not a good idea to be seen using yours during class time.


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Depends on school, depends on circumstances
Old 04-11-2018, 06:30 AM
 
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I, too, am considered a "good Sub." I'm currently being "courted" by a few schools for either a LTS assignment or as a building Sub. In general, I don't "get away with more" but on those occasions when I do make a mistake, am easily forgiven.

Many teachers in my one school have their cell phones out throughout the day. There is a very lax attitude about cell phones and I've even seen teachers use it during instruction time. I have had my cell phone out at this school.

In another school, there is a sign at sign-in warning all subs that cell phone usage by teachers during the day is not allowed. I never see teachers with cell phones out. I only use my cell phone at lunch or break.

Guess which school has more discipline problems btw?

I would not sweat it tbh.
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Use it sometimes
Old 04-11-2018, 01:20 PM
 
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It really depends on what is going on. Our schools have a lax policy and many teachers want me to text if there is an issue they can help with quickly (unpublished assignment, location of the book I'm supposed to read, etc). If it's a busy day, I won't be on it much, but I'll still catch most of my sub job notifications... that takes 10 seconds to read and accept. In addition to an alarm/timer, I've used mine to look up geometry formulas, spelling/definitions, Sparks Notes for books that I'm not familiar with, and how to do the Virginia Reel! If I'm in a higher grade I'm likely to be reading my Kindle book on my phone or iPad or playing a word game some of the time. I make frequent laps and interact as much as I can, but frequently the sub plans are an independent activity where I will become annoying if I try to interact too much. My school did give me a guest wifi password, but I don't think most have one.
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:35 PM
 
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I used my cell today because one class I was in didn't have a clock and the other class had a broken one. I will also use it when the clocks are slower than the bell system so I can get the class ready to leave or finish taking a test. I use mine sometimes for Jobulator because you need the damn jobs. I'm discrete about it, and I would never text or anything on it. If they give me a sub computer I totally use that. I see teachers on their computers all the damn time. I know some people do sudoku or crossword puzzles, and I don't really see the difference. I always keep looking around though.
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:58 PM
 
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I've never had anyone say anything to me about using my cell phone. I'm running Jobulator and I will check it whenever it goes off regardless of what I'm doing. I've been in front of the class lecturing and stopped and accepted a job.

I used to have an older version of Jobulator with a neat laser sound that only went off with Jobulator. Kids would hear it and ask, "What was that sound?"
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