Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Updated classroom policies

Due to recent additions to the Lutheran North Student Handbook, I had to update my classroom policies. In John Knowles' classic book, A Separate Peace, Gene states, "...this was my sarcastic summer. It was only long after that I recognized sarcasm as the protest of people who are weak." Perhaps Gene has a point but I think the sarcasm I infused into my classroom policies for the 2010 - 2011 school year implicitly and explicitly reveals my point.

...as found in this year’s student handbook:

MLDs: Mobile Learning Devices include but are not limited to cell phones, laptops, and notebook computers. Each teacher will determine the acceptable status and usage of MLDs in his/her classroom. MLDs will be kept in silent mode at all times during the day. MLDs should not be used during chapel.
...as explained in the classroom policies of my syllabus

What this means for you in my classroom. Do not enter the classroom talking or texting on your MLD. It’s the same as the food and drink policy in #3. Apparently, there is some vital, urgent, imperative and critical crisis that you must immediately solve. Walking into English class and preparing to learn would only impede this life-saving task. Solve your corner of the world’s problems, put your MLD away and then enter my classroom. If this causes you to be tardy then talk faster, text quicker….or keep your MLD in your purse or pocket and talk to the person walking next to you, look up so you can avoid Joe Freshman scurrying to class, introduce yourself to Suzy Sophomore and ask how her day is going, acknowledge humanity with a nod or wink. Do not, however, bury your self-absorbed attention span into your MLD and stroll into my classroom.
It also means that, if for some odd reason, there are moments to spare at the end of class, you may not whip out the MLD and check for vital status updates, who’s liking what and how many people have tagged that ugly photo of you. Try talking to that human form sitting six inches in front or behind your or the ones located within a four foot radius. If we are not using MLDs as a classroom learning experience, there is no reason for them to be seen or used.