Cringe now if you must, but continue reading. I have heard this phrase far too much from students (during the school day) to let the issue go unaddressed.

Should parents be contacting their children during the school day via cell phones?

The question of whether students should be allowed to have cell phones is not up for debate.  While schools can [try to] control students’ usage of cell phones during school hours, their presence on school grounds ultimately comes down to decisions between parent and student.   However, just because students can HAVE them at school does not mean there is a reason for students to USE them during school hours.

I am more and more disturbed by the number of schools allowing students to use personal technology during the day.  My concern is not that I think these devices are evil and that I wish to see schools remain in the Dark Ages, but merely the changes I have seen in students and their academic abilities.  Not only are their abilities to focus on a single task inhibited, but the mental processes that help students succeed are being impeded by their attachment to technology.

No longer is there a need to remember phone numbers, important dates, or know how to calculate a complicated mathematical problem by hand–therefore, many students are losing the capabilities to do so.

Perhaps I should get back on track–I did not intend for this posting to turn into an argument over whether technology is helping or hindering society; both sides have very strong arguments.   The purpose of this post was to address what seems to be a growing irritation that I face every day I am in the schools:  cell phones and parents.

I understand that 15 year olds [for the most part] do not recognize the importance of school.  The burning temptation in their pockets does not go away, urging them to text their friends while “hiding” their phone under their desk, in their purse, behind their book, or within their sweatshirt pocket (note: there are many other techniques and methods I did not even mention–teachers have seen it all).  But when that texting and calling during school hours is in fact between a student and an adult?  There is no excuse in my mind.  I don’t think anything you have to tell your child could be so important that you would want to interrupt valuable learning time.  Surely it can wait until their lunch time, or until the end of the day.  If it truly is an emergency, call the office.  But bets are, it can wait.

The importance of education needs to be a message stressed time and time again to the young people of America.  If the message they receive is that school is a waste of time and that it is okay to not pay attention because they aren’t learning anything they will really use in life, how do we expect the schools to ever be able to truly achieve their goal of helping all students to succeed?  After all, help cannot be forced–it must be received by an individual desiring it to truly make an impact.

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