BY: Jake Lupu
The start of the school year welcomed many faces of new and returning students alike. Whilst students made their way through the hallways, everything nearly the same as when they left (albeit a bit more clean), they were met with a new addition in the classes. The first block they saw this in, most thought it was a quirk. The second block, coincidence. The rest of the blocks? Not a coincidence anymore.
ASW’s phone policy has been varied. In previous years, there were a few teachers that didn’t mind if you had your phone out on your desk, or in your pocket; others preferred if you left it in your backpack, or even in a phone jail.
This year, however, a cohesive phone policy was introduced in the HS. Each classroom now has a “phone pocket” contraption hanging somewhere in the room, mobiles placed away in the pockets at the start of class.
When asked how this method of keeping kids focused compared to others, a teacher who requested they stay anonymous said that they, “tried all kind of things, such as collecting the phones in a box (at test time),” which could be a waste of time if people didn’t want to hand their phones it. The “out of sight, out of mind” method didn’t work well either because of the constant ping of notifications interrupting classes. The teacher said that this new method not only is effective, but also builds better relationships between students and teachers as students know what they need to do at the start of class, and teachers don’t need to feel pressure to have unpleasant conversations when a student doesn’t put a phone in their backpack.
“This worked better than everything else,” the teacher said.
However, this positive sentiment isn’t fully mirrored in the student body.
“In my opinion, the phone jail is only necessary when the students are being tested, and not for regular class hours. It shouldn’t be necessary for young-adults (nearly adults) to have to have their phones taken away from them,” explained Barbara R. (11).
Another student joked, “I need a bigger phone so it doesn’t fit in there.”