Put your cell phones away

I love showing this video on my first day with new students.  I include it as part of my explanation of classroom procedures by saying something like this:

I expect that when you are in this class, you will have your cell phone completely put away so that it’s not a distraction to you.  If I see it, I will take it.  I used to have a different policy but after an incident during my first term as a teacher that happened to be caught on tape, I’ve softened a bit.

I then point to one of the security cameras in the corner of the room and explain that this room is always under surveillance.  I then say something vague about the administration and lawyers getting involved in this incident and me being fortunate to still have a job.

I click play and watch students’ jaws drop.  The room is silent except for a little shuffling as students put their phones into their backpacks.  This is one of my favorite moments of each term.

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