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The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

No Phones, No Distractions

Laila Younes
Chinese I and Algebra II teacher Yan Li takes away a student’s phone mid-class.

Phones have become distractors for students, causing problems like disrupting classmates and resulting in poor academic performance. However, procedures to address the problem have been met with resistance, including a walkout on Feb. 8 at a high school in Houston Independent School District in response to a schoolwide cellphone ban. (Click here for the link to the story.)

“My cellphone policy is posted on the wall, so it’s very clear that when we’re doing activities with our cell phones, or checking answers with them it’s a yes,” Chinese I and Algebra II teacher Yan Li said. “But when I’m giving instruction and I need your attention it’s a no.”

Many teachers have their preferred phone expectations and policies posted on their walls for students to follow. Phones are allowed in some classes for reasonable use, but teachers do not usually like seeing them out during instructional times and when students’ eyes need to be up on the board.

“Phone usage from what I’ve seen establishes some kind of certainty toward affecting students’ grades,” professional communications teacher Jeffrey Stirl said. “I think it can limit what they’re capable of for many, but for many, it may not.”

Some teachers have phone pouches located in their rooms for students to put phones into until the bell rings so their focus is mainly put on the lesson and their phones aren’t near them to distract them. Although sophomore Suraa Alsultany thinks it is frustrating for students who don’t want to put their phones away, it can boost their scores on tests, quizzes, and comprehension of the subject matter. 

English II teacher Lynson Alexander’s phone pouches are located at the side of his classroom.

“Even though I’d prefer using my phone in class since it gets kinda boring, I do think how much I use it really affects my grades,” Alsultany said.  “The classes I have that make me use phone pouches I noticed I do better in.”

Although some teachers may see cell phone holders as an advantage in their classrooms and get their students on task, Li thinks that there are healthier ways to get your students to focus without taking their things away. 

“I think instead of phone pouches you need to first build a relationship with your students and it’ll be easier for you to control the phone usage even without the phone pouches,” Li said. “I think it’s a good idea for the cell holders but it doesn’t need to be acted like it’s a jail.”

English II teacher Lynson Alexander said that if taking students’ phones away prevents a comfortable environment on both sides, then that’s an issue that should be solved.

“I think the most important thing is learning and understanding, but at the same time in an environment where students are comfortable and happy,” Alexander said. “If my students want phones out, I think control just needs to be built and understanding when it’s okay and not okay to use them, which can be adapted by the students over time.”

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Laila Younes
Laila Younes, Reporter
I'm Laila Younes and I'm in the 10th grade. Outside of school, I like to hang out with friends and go outside. I love baking and learning new things. My goal for this year is to try to not be stressed and finish all my work on time while still making time to have fun.

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