The Phone Police


Over the past 10 years one of the biggest problems to creep into the classroom is the rise of the mobile phone! When I first started teaching it wasn’t a problem, hardly anyone had them, and if they did they stayed in their bags, on silent.

But then came the introduction of the smart phone and with it Facebook, Twitter and more recently Snapchat. For the record, I still have no idea what Snapchat is, but I hear the young ‘uns talking about it, so it must be the latest in thing!

I’ve lost count of the amount of incidents I’ve had to deal with following the aftermath of a Facebook argument. But she posted this and he commented that and then her mum got involved and told her she’s a bitch so now we’re not speaking and I hate her! Arghhh!

Now they all have them, and I mean ALL of them. They can’t manage to bring a bloody pen to school but they all have a £300 iPhone on them. I had to laugh when one year 11 explained to me he didn’t have a calculator but then pulled out his iPad to use in it’s place.

They think they are being sneaky trying to have a quick FB or text check mid lesson. Listen up kiddies, staring down at your lap with your fingers twiddling is not normal behaviour in a classroom so please don’t look so surprised when I’ve clocked you’re on your phone. Oh, and whilst we’re at it hiding your phone under the desk does not make it invisible, I can still see it! This is particularly important to note if you are on the front row!

I spend a large part of my day playing phone police. Ready to confiscate the offending item where it can be locked away in the school office until the end of the day. The look on their face when they realise they have been “caught” is always a picture. How will they survive a maximum of 6 hours without access to their phones? They may have to actually talk to each other, face to face, like they did in the olden days!

Teenagers who have been without their phone for a few hours develop a nervous tick, their arm constantly twitches towards their pocket. Ready to pull out the phone (the one that isn’t there). They have a heightened sense of hearing as they are on high alert for any sound that comes from a mobile phone. They cling onto the tiniest glimmer of hope that their phone has somehow, magically, flown back to them. This almost never happens.

Getting their phone back at the end of the day is better than Christmas. All those texts, FB updates and Tweets to check. If they’re lucky there may even be a voicemail (which is usually from their mum telling them the key is under the mat!). The phone is out of jail and happiness is restored.

Until tomorrow that is!


  1. March 18, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    It’s crazy… sort of makes me wish for a simpler time minus all the tech TBH! x

    • March 18, 2014 / 9:35 pm

      Me too, it slowly crept in without me really noticing and now it’s crazy!

  2. mumtoamonster
    March 18, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    Ha love this. My friend is a teacher a d we were talking about this the other week. It made me feel old

    • March 18, 2014 / 9:36 pm

      Doesn’t it make you feel ancient? The kids always laugh when I tell them I had typing lessons at school on proper typewriters. And it wasn’t that long ago! x

  3. March 18, 2014 / 8:38 pm

    The bane of the phone! Saddest thing is when you get pupils who are so attached to them they can’t bear to let go of them without causing a full scale incident.

    • March 18, 2014 / 9:37 pm

      We have plenty of those incidents, that turn into a full scale drama. Nightmare! x

  4. March 18, 2014 / 9:29 pm

    Question is, would you be any different yourself?! I’m as bad as a teen with my phone for sure 😉 have no idea what snapchat is either though x

    • March 18, 2014 / 9:39 pm

      Haha, I’d have been a nightmare. Definitely the one who would always have had their phone taken off them, probably I could thing I’m not a teenager today! x

  5. March 18, 2014 / 10:26 pm

    Oh Jo, this brings back memories! Cheeky wee blighters! :). E x

    • March 19, 2014 / 6:16 am

      They are a nightmare with mobile phones. I’m not sure what they think they’re going to miss in an hour, especially when the rest of their mates are also in lessons! Bonkers xx

  6. March 19, 2014 / 7:23 am

    A world away from our school days! I remember I was amongst the first to get a phone in my group of friends, but this was after I left school!

    • March 19, 2014 / 10:44 pm

      I remember when we were at college, one lad had a mobile and everyone thought how flashy he was. Didn’t help he insisted on wearing it clipped onto his belt!

  7. Jenny
    March 19, 2014 / 8:59 am

    I love this Jo. It’s hilarious. Bless you for having to always be the phone police. I wouldn’t know what this is like when I went to school cell phones were just coming out, no smart phone fancy gadgets. No idea what snapchat is guess that really does age me. Hilarious that the kids think they are really being sneaky. I used to remember passing notes and getting caught. Like the teacher can’t see the note being passed underneath our desks! We were idiots. lol Thank you so much for linky this to Share With Me. I loved it. Really had me laughing. #sharewithme

    • March 19, 2014 / 10:52 pm

      Me and my mates used to have a little notebook that would be sent with one of us during a lesson as then passed onto someone else for the next hour, I’m actually quite glad mobiles weren’t around when I was a kid. Too much potential for getting into trouble! x

  8. March 19, 2014 / 11:54 am

    It’s a nightmare isn’t it?! In our school, if their phone has been confiscated more than once then the parents have to come in and get it! They really are daft though when they think we can’t see them – I’ve even have them trying to secretly listen to music and hide the earphones under their hair!

    • March 19, 2014 / 10:54 pm

      My school has just introduced that, plus a clamp down on the earphone thing. No one is allowed to be “wired up!” They do still try though x

  9. March 19, 2014 / 2:34 pm

    This does make me feel slightly old, but I think I’d probably be a bit of a nightmare if someone tried to take away my phone now 🙂 #ShareWithMe

    • March 19, 2014 / 10:56 pm

      I would be, I go into a blind panic if I think I’m not sure where my phone is. The poor kiddies x

    • March 19, 2014 / 10:57 pm

      I can imagine! The girls are usually a lot worse than the boys x

  10. March 19, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    I agree with you it’s annoying (and often hilarious!) – I have even had kids in a primary school do this. Having said that though, they’re just being kids at the end of the day. I remember trying to sneak in a portable cd player, chewing gum, make up bag. The rudeness bothers me – but other than that I think they’re just trying to establish boundaries! #ShareWithMe

  11. susan sinclair
    March 19, 2014 / 8:34 pm

    To control the use of my childrens phones i use an app called Techno parental control. It allows you to simply lock the phone down over a set period of time so i know when they are at school their phones are locked. Hope this helps in some way

  12. March 19, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    I just find it so sad how much our children (and adults) are missing from the world around them whilst their heads are buried in a phone screen and their ears no doubt plugged with earphones!

  13. March 20, 2014 / 10:50 am

    GreAt post! My husband hates mobile phones in school if he ever becomes head teacher he will for sure ban them haha x

  14. March 20, 2014 / 12:12 pm

    Loving this post and yay, my sentiments exactly. I had many heated discussions with my daughters over this issue and they’d never have dared check their phones in class. As if teachers don’t have enough to put up with already, it must be so tiresome!

  15. Jaime Oliver
    March 21, 2014 / 11:14 am

    gosh this is why i have banned my daughter taking a phone to school full stop! xx

  16. March 21, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    What a complete and utter nightmare!! Grace is DEFINITELY not doing this when she is old enough for a phone. No way!! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  17. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    March 21, 2014 / 3:28 pm

    Love this, such a funny post, I can imagine how mobile phones are extremely annoying and I feel your pain. What a waste of your time to have to deal with phones when you are supposed to be teaching. Crazy. I wonder what things will be like when Monkey is at secondary school in 10-15 years, what technology will be driving teachers bonkers by then? xx #pocolo

  18. Wicked World of Lucas
    March 21, 2014 / 6:05 pm

    Sory, I know it’s a major issue but I was giggling like a kid reading this. So true. I’m on the management committee and volunteer at my local youth club and I suggested an activity the other week and even though they were around a table, there was actually a FB conversation going about whether they wanted to do the activity!!!!! Go figure………… #pocolo

  19. KidGLloves
    March 21, 2014 / 6:09 pm

    Lucas says – I like using my mums phone to play Angry Birds – that’s cool but I do know it’s naughty to use a phone in class.
    Grace says – Oh my Gosh Lucas – you’ve actually just posted your first sensible comment……. EVER!!!
    Lucas says – SSSShhhhhh Grace – don’t tell everybody……….. errmmmmm Haribo being shot from a NERF gun anyone??????

  20. Kim Carberry
    March 21, 2014 / 7:21 pm

    hahaha! Great post!

  21. Louisa
    March 21, 2014 / 10:38 pm

    I love this post. I am lucky that my eldest rarely uses a mobile, but he is totally glued to his ipod thingy, snap chatting pictures of his dinner to his girlfriend for her approval. I want to throw it down the loo! #PoCoLo

  22. wrymummy
    March 22, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    Oh my goodness, how unbelievably annoying! I’m impressed you managed to write about it so lightly, it must get on your nerves so much!x

  23. March 23, 2014 / 5:57 am

    Argh! I had no idea that phones were so rife in school. I only taught year 1 so obviously it wasn’t a problem for us. But I imagine it must be SO frustrating when you’re teaching and half the class are on Facebook!
    x x

  24. mummy2arockstar
    March 24, 2014 / 2:47 am

    I can totally relate to this, when I was at sixth form in 2009 practically everyone would have their phones out. I was a bit of a goody two shoes and listened to the teacher and did as I was told and did all my homework at lunch. However I find now I am a blogger my phone is glued to my hand, when im not around my son obviously as he is my main focus. Think I need to rein my reliance on it in a bit.

  25. Super busy mum
    March 30, 2014 / 10:49 am

    That is shocking though, isn’t it. They struggle to bring a pen/pencil to school yet they’d never in a million years forget to bring their phone. Considering they treat it like an extra limb. I wish they had a taste of childhood was like for us, not a techy gadget in sight! Great post Hun and thanks so much for linking up! #madmidweekbloghop

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