I appreciate your desire to keep our students safe from bullying, disruptions and "anything that gets in the way of learning." However, I am concerned that your efforts have not gone far enough. You banned the Pen Pal networks and now mobile pencil devices. I get it, those tablets were very disruptive, what with kids sending shorthand messages and all.
At first, I had a negative reaction. After all, as a teacher, I would deal with the behavior rather than banning the medium. If a student is disruptive, I have a conversation with the individual rather than punishing the whole class. I've even been known to get introspective and ask myself why the student was disengaged. Can I incorporate something different in the lesson plans?
However, this approach is much more efficient and fool-proof. But why stop at mobile devices and Pen Pal networks? I heard a student insult another student on Thursday. Perhaps it's time to ban speaking in school? I've noticed a ton of students disrupting class by blowing their noses. Is it time to ban tissues? Chair-tipping has also become both disruptive and dangerous. When will we learn? Will it take a student's cracked skull to teach us to ban chairs?
At recess, I noticed students kicking balls around. One team refused to share the ball with the other team. Perhaps this is potential gang behavior? Bullying? Or maybe, like other schools throughout the nation, we just ban recess (or as I like to call it child-centered anarchy) altogether.
My issue is not with your banning of items, but with the fact that you have not gone far enough.
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Okay, I lied at the end. I wasn't all that sincere after all. Then again, I'm not sure they are all that sincere when they speak of developing "holistic life-long learners."