A perspective on Cell Phones

Cell phones have become an integral part of our daily lives, and for many students, they are an essential tool for communication and entertainment. However, there is a growing concern about the use of cell phones in schools. Some educators and parents believe that cell phones should not be allowed in schools, as they can be a significant distraction and disrupt the learning environment. In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why cell phones should not be allowed in schools.


One of the most significant concerns about cell phones in schools is their potential to distract students. Even when students are not actively using their phones, they may be distracted by notifications, text messages, and social media updates. This distraction can make it difficult for students to focus on their studies, leading to lower academic performance and poorer learning outcomes.


Cell phones can also facilitate cheating, as students can use them to access information during exams or other assessments. This not only undermines the integrity of the assessment but also hinders the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for academic and professional success.


Another concern is the potential for cyberbullying. With the rise of social media, students can use their phones to bully and harass their peers, either anonymously or under a false identity. This can have a devastating impact on the mental health and well-being of the victim, and schools must take steps to prevent such behavior.

Health risks

Finally, there are health risks associated with the use of cell phones, such as eye strain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal disorders. Students who spend extended periods using their phones may also be at risk of developing addiction, sleep disorders, and other mental health problems.


In conclusion, while cell phones have become an essential part of our daily lives, they should not be allowed in schools. They can be a significant distraction, facilitate cheating, enable cyberbullying, and pose health risks. Instead, schools should provide students with alternative means of communication and access to information, such as computers and other technology, while also educating them about responsible digital citizenship. By doing so, we can create a safe, healthy, and productive learning environment for all students.

The Pencil Catch 22

It happens to all, forgetting a needed writing untensil. In classrooms it seems to happen endlessly. A student really can’t participate fully without a much needed writing tool. As Joshua T Dickerson illustrates in his poem “Cause I Aint Got a Pencil” there are many reasons a student might not have a pencil on any given day. As one who can be forgetful at tines, I want to be forgiving, providing pencils for anyone who needs them. Just like most jobs, if you forget the writing untensil you can just grab another one. Many students carry pencil cases with them, showing that they are prepared for class.

But lately some have become relaiant on the pencils in the room. Asking daily for a pencil to borrow. Of course I allow them to grab a needed tool out of the class pencil case in front of the room. The borrowing really isn’t the issue, but then again it is a concern, because students aren’t borrowing. They are using and then disgarding. Pencils end up everywhere except the pencil box in front of the classroom. At the end of the day I usually can rescue a few from the floor. Many are broken up into unsuable pieces, while others end up in the bottom of bookbags and lockers. How can we get students to value the writing tool when we provide them daily?

Becca who blogs for Science Lessons that Rock lists many methods here. Teachers need to find a method that works for them. I use golf pencils frequently, handing out around 500 per month. I have used the collateral system but it has lead to students leaving items in my room, having to return during different class periods often without the pencil. Our PTC has donates 1000 pencisl to each classroom to help out. I don’t like reward systems that give out rewards for doing the expected. Students don’t need participation rewards. Actions need consequences for learning to happen. This is why we learn more from failure than sucess.

So what consequences should occur when a students fails to borrow properly?

Should it impact their grade? no

Should they be no longer allow to borrow? Maybe

Should they need a different intervention? probably

Its a catch 22. Students need pencils. Many devlopmentally struggle with concept of borrowing. Pencils run out.

How do we solve this issue?

Is this a bigger issue in our society? We don’t value others belongings?

Love to hear you suggestions in the comments.

Sincerely a teacher who doesn’t want to be the pencil cop!

Teaching “the Ocky Way”

I saw this warning on twitter. Dru is right we need to be cautious when using pre-made lesson plans. They were not desinged for the students in our classroom. They were not designed for our teaching style. Depending who designed the lessons they might hit state standards or they might be a simple filler like the “shrink wrapped” cheese above. Educators have to be critical of pre-packaged lessons. Many questions need to be asked:

What is the desired outcome?

Does it meet the standards?

Does it fit my students prior knowledge base?

Does it address our learning needs?

Does it fit my instructional style?

How will my students consume this lesson?

Prepackaged lessons do serve a purpose in education. They give educators a starting point, helping save time. Teachers don’t need to be reinventing lessons every time they teach something new. Starting with a blank slate can be difficult when the topic has never been taught before. It is beneficial to have lessons to serve as a model to start building a quality lesson.

It makes me think of “The Ocky Way” channel found on YouTube/TikTok and Instagram. Where a small deli in Red Hook, NY makes common foods come to life prepared by owner Mohamed. Mohamed has risen to internet fame by taking standard meals, then adds his own touch to them to make them unique for the consumer. Sometimes customers bring in fast food orders from nieghboring stories to have the meal done “The Ocky Way”.

Educators need to customize for their consumers, adding flavor and uniqueness to all the educational bites so the learning won’t be stale.

Time to Rethink guest teachers

Schools have traditional hired guest/substitute teachers to cover classes when the assigned teachers has to be absent. There are many reason for classroom teachers to be absent ranging from attending IEPs, Professional Development, doctor’s appointments or being sick. Teahers leave lesson plans for the guest to delever to the classes. When guest teachers aren’t available in districts, usually other teachers/staff are asked to cover the class during their scheduled preparation time. This model has been used since schools began.this model has been around since schools started. It might be time for this model to change.

Let’s start by being honest the quality of guest teachers is degraded over the last 20 years. Schools used to be able to get educators to be guest teachers while they were looking for a teaching job. These were certified teachers that we hoping to gain employment with the district. Now districts are luck to have warm adult bodies that are available to take attendance and pass out papers.

Today I saw this take on twitter

Not only unpopular but a bad take. This type of thinking is what is leading to educators leaving the profession. First, it takes time to create sub plans and bring class back up to speed after a sub has been in a classroom. Taking a day off as a teacher isn’t a vacation. So if a teacher needs a day off there is a good reason. Second, if districts want teachers to stay in the profession they need to provide the flexiblity that other professions have. Currently it is difficult for educators to get more than 3 minutes to go to the bathroom during the day due to all the responsiblities. Third, mental heath days aren’t just relaxing, these are days to make sure a persons head is right to do the job. Do we really want teachers walking to classrooms without being in the right mental state?

So what is the solution?

Schools need to adjust to the times. Instead of one guest teacher be absent teacher, what if schools had a designated area (media center/computer lab) where students could go when staff is absent to work on the classwork independently. Schools then could have a few personal in this area to monitor students while students work on class work. Sure this might not be best in elementary where students need more adult attention but this should work at middle school and high school. Another option would be to notifiy parents that their child’s teacher is out for the day and give them the option to keep their kids home to work on school work. I am sure their are other methods to solve this problem with out over taxing educators who aren’t in need of taking the day off. Schools need to start thinking outside of the box instead of gaslighting those who are remaining in the profession but just need a day off.

I am That teacher!

I am that teacher who cares if you come in tired.

I will let you lay your head down for a bit.

I am that teacher who cares if you come in hungry.

I will help you find food and allow you to eat in my classroom

I am that teacher who care that you learn.

I will ask you about your work, extend deadline, while offering help.

I am that teacher who wants you to feel safe.

I try to make my classroom to excepting to all my deverse students

I am that teacher that is concerned when I see you in the hallway when you should be in class.

I will ask if you need help and why you are there.

I am that teacher that recognizes your need to go to the bathroom

I have an open bathroom policy that gives you permission to go as needed.

I am that teacher that wants to best out of you,

I spend time to talk to you about what I see instead of handing out discipline.

I am that teacher who worries about your choices

I encourage you to think them out carefully and reflect on them after.

I am that teacher that wants you to have a life outside of school

I don’t give homework and try to attend extra curricular activities at the school.

I am that teacher that wants to reward the awesome my students achieve

I buy rewards to hand out in the classroom.

Because I am this teacher,

I add extra duties to my day, working beyond the contract

my hair is slowly graying. My wallet is lighter

I am a teacher who loves the profession and my students

I seek support from our community, our society, our world.

All I see is blame, accountablity and ridicule.

I am that teacher that is tired,

the one who asks is it sustainable?

Importance of student sports

Students need sports to compliment their learning. Sports add to the learning experience and so much can be learned by participating in sports. Watch this episode of Sweat to Inspire to hear my main talking points. I also reccommend the book ” The Fourteenth Gold Fish” by Jennifer Holm an excellent read aloud for any science classroom.