As soon as you feel the buzz in your pocket, what is your first reaction? Do you reach for the device in that pocket as soon as you think you have a break to take a look at it, or do you immediately claw at the fabric in some attempt to get your phone out in less than a second, no matter what situation you are in?
If you’re like the stereotypical teenager of today, then your reaction would be closer to the latter. It feels like teens and preteens have a hard time being able to put their phones down for more than five minutes, but this problem seems to have spread beyond this generation and to our teachers.
Everyone knows the school policy of no cell phone usage during class time, and almost no one follows the rule. It’s common for teachers seize possession of any cell phone that is in their line of sight, and the student is left without his tether to the Twitterverse. But as soon as that teacher begins to play Angry Birds on his phone during down time, the rules go out the window. It’s as if that rule doesn’t apply to the teacher.
All teachers have to follow nearly every other school policy, such as the dress code and having to have a sticker to park. So why does it seem like they’re allowed to break the cell phone rule?
Yes, students have a hard time staying off their phones in class, so they’re breaking the rules as well. But because some teachers are breaking the rule, it seems reasonable to us to break the rule as well, so it’s even more irritating when a teacher stops texting his buddy to take away our cell phones. Whatever happened to “teach by example”?
We recognize that “no cell phones in the classroom” is a rule, and most of us would be more than happy to follow that rule. However, we ask that teachers try to set an example for us. If you leave your phone alone, most of us will leave ours alone as well.