Yes, I did take your child’s phone.

The classroom policy is clear.

Phones are not allowed in Mr. Palowitch’s classroom.

Your student knows that phones must be away and out of sight during class. You and your child signed the syllabus where this policy is stated.

If I see a phone, I will take it. I will attach a piece of tape to the phone with their name and period written on it. The phone is turned into the attendance office where the student can pick it up at the end of the day. The attendance office records the offense, and on the second occurence, you will receive a phone call.

There are rare times I allow phones to be used for schoolwork. Emphasis on the word “schoolwork“. When students have time in class to complete their math work and there is time remaining, I will clearly state that students may use the rest of the class to do schoolwork. Mine is a working classroom; not a gaming room, not a social gathering, not a music sharing party. They can look up their grades on Q, look up assignments, do research, and read. That is schoolwork.

If I took your child’s phone it is for one of two reasons.

  1. During class, the student was using their phone. Usually they are using it in a manner where they think I can not see them. Really. They really think so. They’ll learn quickly enough.
  2. When phones can be used for schoolwork, they were using it for non-schoolwork. Again, they are using it in a manner where they think I don’t know what they are doing. Really. They really think so. It is obvious what gaming behavior looks like. It is obvious what facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram user interfaces look like. It is obvious that showing/sharing your phone in a jovial manner is not schoolwork. It is obvious that when you are wearing a hoodie you just might be hiding your earbud wires or airpods.

You can help by letting your child know you understand and support the policy 100%. Let your child know you expect them to utilize the entire class time for learning. Make sure your student has a book in their backpack to read in the unusual event they have no homework.

If your student comes home and exclaims “Mr. Palowitch took my phone!”, it might just help to say, “Good for you!”

Leave a Reply