By Macy Weddle
While people may consider phones among the greatest forms of communication, several teachers at Delta High School feel that phones limit the amount of communication they have with their students.
As a result, some teachers came up with an idea to limit the phone usage in their classroom this school year.
According to the teachers participating in this, it has worked out well for their classroom. Students are paying attention more and are less distracted by their devices.
“If they just had their phones, they become so pacified by Tik Tok, Snapchat, etc., that the room becomes silent and feels out of touch,” science teacher Mr. Adam Lennon said.
At the start of class, at least seven teachers sometimes are having students put their phones into pouches on the wall this semester.
All of this was organized by Mr. Lennon. He felt there were issues in the past and he wanted his classroom to change. Mr. Lennon planned a meeting at the beginning of the year. In the meeting he and other teachers discussed ideas about how to increase the success of the freshmen students. The phone pocket was one of those topics.
Some of the teachers involved in this are Mrs. Miranda Hummel, Mrs. Holly Hopkins, Mrs. Lorie Crouch, Mr. Todd Trehearne, Mr. Adam Lennon, Mrs. Shawn Churchill, Mr. Elijah May and Mr. Sam Carlton.
“What continues to surprise me is that it has honestly changed the feel of my classroom environment,” science teacher Mr. May said. “I feel more connected to my students now with this phone policy than I did before.”
The teachers feel as if there were past situations that may have led to the need to solve this disconnect.
“It got to a point where I was the phone police and it was wearing me out,” social studies teacher Mrs. Hopkins said. “It is a challenge to teach and police phones.”
The teachers like feeling connected to their students, and they can’t feel that when their students’ faces are on their phone.
“I know that it sounds silly, but it has been really exciting to see my students talking to one another and laughing and being goofy,” Mr. Lennon said. “I feel like when phones are involved in conversations they become more, ‘Oh, look what I found!’ and ‘This dude is crazy, check it out!’ The conversation becomes more about the online world than it is about the world directly surrounding us and our shared experiences.”
The students also have their own opinions on the phone pouches. Freshman Mia Torres feels that when she has her phone it distracts her from her school work.
“Having my phone when I’m in class definitely does slow down my school work,” Torres said. “I get the urge to look at it all the time and check if I have any messages.”
Torres feels like putting her phone in the pouch makes her feel less stressed and more productive with her school work.
“Having my phone in the pouch definitely relieves some of the stress off my shoulders,” Torres said. “I don’t have to worry about not being focused in class and not being able to get my work turned in on time.”
She understand both sides of the argument but agrees more with the side of not having to put her phone in a pouch.
“Even if I have made multiple different points that stand with the fact that we should put phones in pouches, I still think that we should be able to have our phones on us,” she said.
She expressed that she feels safer while knowing she has her phone on her, and knowing she has the ability to contact her parents at any time.
“With the world that we live in right now, it’s honestly a safety measure more than a personal guilty pleasure,” Torres said. “I’m already scared to just go to school and that in itself is not normal and not healthy, so being able to have that connection and being able to reach out to my parents (constantly) definitely helps relieve that stress.”
Every teacher understands the positives and negatives of the phone pouch, but overall they feel the positives outweigh the negatives. The teachers who participated in this are going to continue in the years to come.
“Yes, I will do this every year from now on,” Mrs. Hopkins said.