Teachers taking cell phones inhibits students’ performance


Caitlin Kerrigan

Sophomore Angela Kahoe puts her phone into religion teacher Meghan Sprankle’s phone daycare. Many teachers have started encouraging students to hand their phones in during class.

Madison Dailey, Community Editor

As I walk into my Social Justice class last mod, I drop my phone into our “phone daycare.” As it falls into the sleeve and I walk to my seat, I feel the slightest amount of separation anxiety, but I keep moving, as I have no other choice but to spend the next 55 minutes phone-free.

This is not the only class where students are required to leave their phones in random places, as many teachers at JC have adopted this policy. Students are required to place their phones in a variety of different places before class, such as boxes or the ledge of blackboards.

This policy, consciously put into place by each individual teacher, is a result of phones being a source of distraction to students and taking their attention away from their work. However, it should be up to the students if they want to keep their phone with them or put them away as it does not prepare students for the future, it removes a great resource for students, and it forces students to pay attention rather than actively engaging them.

I understand why teachers take phones. They can be a major distraction. Constant texting and scrolling through Instagram can take your focus away from class for the entire period. Most days, when I step away from my phone during Social Justice, even if it is only 55 minutes, I feel refreshed and calmed afterward.

However, teachers should not take students’ phones during class because it does not prepare us for college. As a college preparatory school, we should prepare for the future where college professors will not take our phones or care if we use them. It is up to students to be responsible and make choices that will benefit them, such as turning their phone off or leaving it somewhere out of reach. Students, especially seniors, need to be used to focusing despite having distractions around them.

Teachers also should let students keep their phones because they are losing a great resource for looking up information. Phones and other technology can be incorporated into classwork, to keep students interested and efficient. For example, if a student didn’t have the textbook needed for class, they could take a picture of another student’s textbook. This could allow all students to do their work and eliminate problems since they wouldn’t have to share with another student.

Many teachers that take students’ phones think they are forcing students to participate and focus in a class by taking their phones. A teacher’s primary focus should be on actively engaging students, rather than taking phones. If a teacher makes their class interesting and enjoyable, students would want to pay attention rather than being on their phones.

Although taking a break from your phone can be refreshing, teachers should give students the power to control their own decisions. We should be able to choose if our phones are a big distraction, or if we can focus regardless of them. Teachers taking student’s phones is not beneficial to students because it doesn’t prepare us for college, it takes away a great resource, and it forces students to focus rather than engage.

Madison Dailey is a Community Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.