I think we need to exercise common sense and self-control when it comes to cell phone usage, and not just while we're working. We need to practice not answering/reading every message when it comes in. It can wait. Taking cell phones away from teachers is not the answer. It's up to teachers to be accountable for themselves. We're adults, not impulsive children, and if we're not mature enough to know what's appropriate and what isn't, then should we really be teaching? At any other job, if you were on your phone too much, you'd be disciplined/fired. Teaching is no exception. I think in this day and age, it's crucial for teachers to have access to outside lines to make calls in case of emergencies, especially when a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. I also think there are many other benefits to having cell phones available in the classroom: instant access to information/resources to be able to answer children's questions, share photos, videos, music, etc. w/ them. We need to keep kids engaged so they will learn and we have to learn to change w/ the times. This is how kids learn now - through technology - and if having a cell phone available helps us reach and teach more students, great! It's a virtually free tool which is valuable to those of us not fortunate enough to have classroom computers and smart boards.
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