Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mea Culpa*

*mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Every semester, I make a really big deal about cell phones in class. I put a statement in my syllabus. I tell students to mute cell phones on coming to class. I tell them if they have a home emergency pending to tell me ahead of time so if they get buzzed, I don't get nasty. I have even called out students who surreptitiously text down below the desktop, thinking perhaps that I can't see.

I throw out an additional precaution before an exam--I tell students if I see you so much as touch your cellphone, you are out of here and your exam will be scored as a 0. Oh, I am one mean teacher.

So, imagine my surprise in my morning class when a cell phone started ringing. I looked around expecting to see some student dive for her purse or his book bag. No one moved. So I waited--I stopped talking. All the while, the cell phone merrily warbled its call. Finally, it stopped.

Well, I said, just a reminder to please put your cell phone on vibrate, or mute them. I was feeling very smug--what a great way to remind them. Someone's cell phone rings, everyone is too intimidated to answer it, and I make my point about SILENCING YOUR CELL PHONES.

After class, I got back in my office, and looked at my cell phone. GULP. It was MY cell phone that had rung. I had forgotten to silence my own cell phone. There was the message: ONE MISSED CALL.

Oh dear. But, if you think I am going to own up to the students that it was my cell phone, think again. In fact, I chuckled on the way home--point made. Now everyone will think---sheeese--don't let your cell phone ring in her class.

15 comments:

Mary said...

Thanks for the laugh, Donna. I was totally shocked to hear the truth!

Lynne said...

HAHA!! I wouldn't tell either. In fact maybe next semester you should have someone call your cell during class so you can make the point again!

Africakid said...

You sly teacher, you!
Good thing the phone didn't ring again later.
This made me chuckle.

Anonymous said...

My brother tells his college classes that if he hears a cell phone ring HE will answer it!

Ruth said...

lol! I often do not recognize my cell phone ringing. My daughters have linked a different caller ID tune with every person in my contact list. Sometime I think it is a radio playing.

egretsnest said...

Laugh. We, of course, don't allow students to have cell phones turned on in class. I don't get a lot of calls so I often forget to mute my phone. I had a problem with 5th graders texting other 5th graders in another class last year. Sigh. We had a big ol' todo about it and then a couple of days later, my phone went off in class. I think the funniest part was that the kids couldn't believe I didn't answer my phone. That's how entrenched they are in our kids' lives.

JeanMac said...

Too funny!

Darla said...

That's just too Good!!!

Beverly said...

That's a great story! I'd never tell either.

KGMom said...

Well, I am glad I gave you a good chuckle.
And thanks for the ideas--e.g. do this every semester, i..e. have someone call me on my cell and make a big deal of it! (tee hee)
I confess to having the same problem Ruth mentioned--I still don't recognize my ring tone. I pick one that I can hear in a setting with background noise. Obviously, HEARING it doesn't help if I don't know it's mine!

nina said...

I'm horrible with cell phones--but not so much turning them off--forgetting to turn them back on!
I invariably get home and am greeted by, "I've been trying to call you all day, Where have you BEEN!"

Oops.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Now you think this lesson would make you a more forgiving teacher :)

I don't understand the fascination of cell phones. I don't want to be able to be reached any time. In fact, I hate getting calls on the regular phone.

NCmountainwoman said...

I used to serve as a eucharistic minister at church. My biggest nightmare was that my phone might ring in my purse while I was serving communion. I probably checked it ten times before communion to make certain it was off.

Very funny story.

Mary C said...

Donna, that was a good one. I got my chuckle for the day! Any chances that any of the students sat close enough to you that they could detect it was your phone ringing? Now that would be embarrassing, although maybe they are polite enough not to say anything. Anyway, I haven't had that embarrassing experience yet, but my daughter (Red) has. We are to silence our cell phones before entering the sanctuary at church, and she is the church secretary! ;o))

RuthieJ said...

A mean teacher? I don't think so. I'm just glad to read that you have rules students are expected to adhere to or suffer the consequences.