If a student asks me my opinion on time travel, I tell them that I don’t believe it will ever happen, though the only thing I can be sure of is that I never get involved in its invention. When the student asks how I can be so sure, I ask them to pull their cell phone out. After they produce it, I tell them that this is the evidence, because if I was ever involved in time travel, the first thing I would do is make sure these damned things were never invented.
Cell phones a frickin’ plague on education. No one is sure how to handle them properly, and what generally happens is a lot of fighting (or no fighting, and cell phones everywhere).
Parents are the biggest pains in the posterior about this. I would estimate that 60-70% of texts to students are parents … and sometimes those texts are “call me”, which is code for “go to the bathroom and call me”. It is bad enough that students don’t know how to properly use this technology, something made worse by the fact that relatively few parents know how to use this technology.
Case in point.
This past week, one of my colleagues was walking down the hall and saw a kid sitting at a desk taking a test … and was on his cell phone. She accosted him, but on a second look, saw that the kid had tears streaming down his face, and was on the verge of hysterics. Why?
It turns out mom had just texted him that they were taking grandma off of life support.
If you are thinking “what monster would do this”, then I say congratulations, you have not been replaced by a facsimile grown in a large seed pod. I am often the last person to tell parents how to parent, but if I were a parent, and the family dog was being put to sleep, I wouldn’t text that … let alone that grandma was about to pass after what must have been a deeply emotional decision. That a parent thought that it was OK to do this shows not only a complete lack of empathy to their offspring, but a complete misuse of technology.
Needless to say we had to escort the kid down to his counselor and call in the team psychologist to help with this.
Parents, please, for the love of God, DO NOT TEXT OR CALL YOUR KIDS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY! As much as you wouldn’t want a teacher breaking in to one of your meetings to give a mundane reminder, wait until the kid is out of school. If your kid texts you during the day,don’t respond until the day is over, and then reprimand them for texting during school. If there is an emergency, call the school, get a hold of the kid’s counselor and have the kid brought down where they can get the news directly, AND have some human support on hand in case things get emotional.
Clearly, mom was having a bad day, but these are the kinds of things, as an adult, you need to think about before you do them.