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Chacham's Journal: News: Israel: Teacher class-time cell phone usage 1

Journal by Chacham

Ma'ariv English Edition has an article on cellphone usage in class. Not by students, rather, by teachers. I just found it interesting. It seems these teachers are not truly interested in teaching. Though, it doesn't way *when* these calls are made. Perhaps during test time?

The title is "Government set to curb in-class cell phone use by teacher".

Children Channel survey: More than 90% of students have encountered a teacher using a cell phone in class. Education Ministry: This is unacceptable.
By Assaf Zelinger

From an early age, Israeli students are taught that school "is not a democracy". But what if the teachers themselves do not uphold basic classroom rules, such as turning off cell phones?

Complaints are growing over the increasing use of cell phones by teachers in class. "We have several teachers who simply leave their phones on while teaching. The ringing disrupts our concentration and disturbs the class", says Maayan, a Jerusalem fourth-grader.

Maayan says that teachers do not even ask callers to phone back later, but rather, continue the conversation in front of students. Maayan recounts a typical moment: " Hi Malka, what's new? I'm in the middle of class, but never mind. Do you want to meet at McDonald's this afternoon"?

"I've even seen a teacher pick up the phone and make a call in the middle of class", says Maayan incredulously. "They talk on the phone and it is such chutzpah, because they are suppose to set an example for the students, and this is a bad example. If our phone rings by accident then it gets confiscated. But we can't take their phones away. I saw a sign in the Teacher's Lounge forbidding the use of cell phones in class, but they do it anyway".

To examine the extent of this phenomenon, the Children Channel decided to conduct an Internet survey. Amazingly, out of 11,000 participants, more than 10,000 said that they have seen their teachers accept or initiate cell phone conversations during class. Only 600 respondents said they had never encountered the phenomenon.

"The Education Ministry cannot remain indifferent. We view this as a form of conduct that is unacceptable and disrespectful, to teachers and students alike", says Menachem Cohen, a Deputy Director at the Ministry. "In the coming days we will be issuing a directive that will prohibit the use of cell phones in class. We will also update regulations accordingly, to indicate that speaking on the phone during class is considered a disciplinary infraction".

According to Cohen, there is no justification for a teacher to leave a cell phone on in the classroom. "If there are urgent cases that cannot wait until after class, the teacher can be reached through the secretary. Students have a right in this case to respectfully complain to the teacher".

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News: Israel: Teacher class-time cell phone usage

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  • Israel has bigger problems than the teachers using a cell phone in class.

    Honestly, I'd think that plain ol' politeness (something lost in the Cellphone generation apparently) would make some sort of sense here, such as turning the cellphone to vibrate or noring in case there's an important call, and letting the call go to voicemail. Personally, due to relatively crappy calling plans, my cellphone has been regulated to a voice-pager and emergency phone.

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