As I sit here and think about the beginning of the school year and some of the challenges we will be presented with, the most immediate subject comes to mind is the use of technology.
I was reading an article one day when I was researching for my dissertation and the author was talking about the fight and the struggle educators face when in the school environment. It has come a long way since, I was in this level of school and for sure things have changed. I remember, way back when, I use to carry a football around with me every where I went. It was my life, a part of me, it was what I did in my unoccupied time. If you took that football from me, then all of a sudden I felt incomplete and it seemed that my life was quickly coming to an end. I remember my Mom telling me to “put that ball down somewhere, you’re not going to die!” What? Didn’t she know that my heart was being pulled from the socket of my soul when she told me to put the ball down? Didn’t she?
Well it wasn’t until I was taught how to channel my emotions and to separate from carrying my football all the time to putting my hands on it some times that I learned I would make it somehow. I had to learn that there was a proper time “when to”, and a proper time “when not to”. Hmmmmm!
That sounds familiar?
I relate that to students and their cell phones. Society has instilled in them that the cell phone is a necessity that is needed every minute of every day. It is entertaining, informational, used for emergencies, etc. But students haven’t been taught proper cell phone etiquette. Now we as educators are fighting a fight that we can’t win. The fight is not against the students but it is us versus society. To win this fight, we must condition our minds to approach this battle in a different way. We must not insist”you’d better” that they put their phones away, but assist “train” the students that proper cell phone etiquette is the best way to be responsible in social environments when using a cell phone. Instead of making students go “cold turkey” we must slowly teach them how and when. Once we open up their understanding, they will be more receptive to the process and understand how it relates to them being successful in this technological society.