For the last two Saturdays I have had the privilege of teaching adult students in one of our non traditional programs. Now I realize that the freshmen college students I teach are also adults but sometimes some of them really do not act that way. I've got two classes left with this group of freshmen. I've really enjoyed them but some of their behaviors are beginning to bug me. I realize what I am about to say will not surprise anyone, but why must students send text messages during class?
I set my standards the very first day of class, you do not need your laptops for my class, they'll be no Facebook or Solitaire on my watch and there will be no texting. I've had to occasionally remind a student of these rules, but this last Thursday one of my students nearly sent me over the edge.
She was sitting directly to my right when during the middle of me leading a class discussion she pulled out her phone and began to send a text. "Put that away there is no texting in my class" I said to her quietly. I actually do not like to embarrass students, perhaps that is part of my problem. She put it away and then 5 minutes later she pulled it out again. "Put it away" I said this time a little louder and I thought with more authority. She rolled her eyes at me and stuffed it back in her pocket. A few minutes later she pulled it out a third time, once again I told her to put it away. Now, I'm really pissed! If your texting is more important than what is happening in class than please don't come to class. I glared at her and she once again puts it away. I am being 100% honest when I say that after a few minutes more she pulls it out one more time. This time her hands and her phone remain underneath the table, as if I am an idiot and really don't know what she is doing.
In the meantime, I'm trying to lead a class discussion on Men, Woman and Biblical Equality. We're also discussing the idea of Ordaining Woman and a woman's role in the church. It is a great conversation that my class and I are having. Yet while I'm leading this discussion Ms. text-a-lot is busy working her thumbs. She is close enough to me that I could kick that darn phone out of her hand and sending it flying under the conference table I think to myself. Yes, that's what I'll do I'll kick it out her hands. Wait is that appropriate behavior for a college instructor? What if I break the phone? I really don't want to break her phone but I really wish she'd stop texting. It is so distracting to me. Yes, I'm going to kick it on the count of three, 1,2, Oh wait I'm trying to listen to another student share her thoughts about woman in ministry.
Ultimately I did nothing. I'm a little disappointed in myself. I kind of wished I punted it out of her hands. But then again if I had, I might be cell phone shopping to today and I really did not have time to do that.