One Benefit of Students’ Cellphones… Sort Of

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I wanted to share an experience I had today.  A student of mine highjacked my class today, for a short time, to ask me why I didn’t call him (because he wasn’t in class)!  He was joking, sort of, but still highjacked my class.  The history:

One of my classes has a number of at-risk students who have trouble attending class.  So to encourage them to get to class, or out of bed, or make a choice to come to school, I invite students who know they have challenges to give me their mobile phone number.  I promise to only phone them when they are not in class, and from the school’s phone.  Some kids I phone more than others, some rarely and some it seems like every day.  My goal: to remind them there are lots of people in the building that are in their corner whenever they are ready to come to school.  Also, the phone call is trying to remove/relieve some of the stress associated with coming to school so there is more room for learning to get in.  As for the other kids who don’t have a problem, there has been another benefit.  They have watched me call one particular boy pretty much every day.  One person finally asked: Why do you keep calling?  Before I could answer, he said “you just won’t give up on him will you.”  For me: Touchdown.

So back to today, the student who highjacked my class wanted to know why I didn’t phone him.  He said he was expecting my call and if I had called, he would have started running so he wouldn’t be as late as he was.  It made the whole class laugh.  Touchdown again.

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