We, the teachers of the world, would like to address a concern we have with you and your kids.
We both know that technology has taken over our world. We walk with it, talk with it, sleep with it, go to the bathroom with it. We wear it on our wrist, our arm band, our glasses, and in our jeans pocket. It is rare for us to be without it.
However, all of us parents, teachers and kids, need to start to learn how to separate from this technology once in a while. As the adults in this equation, we need to be the role models. We need to show our kids that being physically present is not enough. We need to be mentally and emotionally present as well. This is where the classroom comes in.
Every time you text your kid during class, it’s a disruption to their learning. Even if it is just a “I hope you are having a good day”, “Was practice cancelled?”, or “You forgot your lunch money so I’ll drop it off for you” and especially the one that screen shots their grades and says “what the ___ is this?!”
How about this very real scenario? Students are collaboratively working on a project. They are bouncing ideas off of each other, creating together, and getting things done. Then Sam’s mom texts him and says, “It’s raining. Do you think practice is going to be cancelled?” What happens next? Sam looks outside because he was so engaged in his work he didn’t know it was raining. He checks his weather app. He asks the other teammates in the class what they think will be the fate of practice. He texts his coach. He checks his phone incessantly anxiously awaiting his coach to reply. Coach finally replies with “yes we will have practice in the rain”. Now Sam is upset because he didn’t bring the proper clothing… and the saga continues. All the while this is happening, Sam’s focus has been broken. He is upsetting his group mates because they had some good momentum going, but has now lost Sam’s attention and perhaps other students’ as well. The teacher is now frustrated because she is tasked with convincing students that what they were working on is more important than the fate of practice. And perhaps, the teacher is faced with a student who refuses to ignore their mom because “are you saying your class is more important that my mom’s needs?”
Parents, we are not saying not to talk to your kids during the day. The expectation that we can say “hi” in the middle of the day has become a part of the fabric of our lives. As teachers, all we ask, is that you are mindful of your disruption. Please consider the impact your message will have on our class and your child as my student. We ask you find a better time to send them that message. (Perhaps between classes, during lunch, etc). We ask that you respect us as the ones trying educate your student and that you model that respect by not interrupting us.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Your Child’s Teachers