Two days ago I confiscated a cellphone from a Year 10 student. In line with formal school policy I sent it to the school office for the students parents to collect. (I usually just keep it until the end of lesson or end of day.) The cell phone was confiscated because I explicitly stated to the class that cell phones were not being used today – caveat being if student advised me of expected urgent call or text. This is only the second time I have done this in three yaers. Complicating factors include the fact that the cell phone being used was borrowed from another student and potentially conflicting messages to parents and students alike in a BYOD world.
Having said that any change of mind would have sent a message to the class that I don’t mean what I say. I subsequently rang the father concerned and he fully supported my decision. I suspect as more students bring devices to school that cannot realistically be confiscated I will need to devise a better strategy of dealing with them – one of them being to keep my options open.