Envisioning My Future Classroom: Contemplating Rules

Kira on phoneBy Amanda Szramiak — As classes start this semester, I got my field placement, and I was eager to start.

Last year, I didn’t get my field placement until three weeks into the semester so I wasn’t able to actually meet with my cooperating teacher ahead of time. Unfortunately, I was thrown into that classroom without introducing myself or getting any information about the class. Although no problems occurred from this delay, I was thrilled to get my placement early so I could begin my field placement “properly.

I was assigned to West Allis Central High School, and I met with my cooperating teacher last week. The school was extremely welcoming, and I am excited to share my field experiences through my blogs. I went to Central for second and third period to observe Mr. Omo’s English 10 class and his World Literature class, which was a senior class.

I am still trying to figure out whether I was sad or flattered when the students thought I was a new student to their highs school. I loved working with the sophomores last semester so I am eager to work with sophomores again. I am particularly enthusiastic to work with the seniors for a variety of reasons. Although I am not actually graduating this semester, I am technically a senior so I explained we will work through our “senioritis” together. I am also very excited to discuss the students’ plans after high school, especially since Mr. Omo said a good majority of his students have already received college acceptance letters. In addition to all these observations, the two class periods brought a few questions to my mind that I never really thought about before being in this classroom.

How will I handle cell phone use in the classroom?
In this field placement and my previous one, I noticed the students not only have their phones out, but they also use their phones.

What?! When I was in high school, I left my cell phone in my locker because I was so worried about getting caught and receiving a “jug.” I asked Mr. Omo if there were any rules regarding cell phone usage. Mr. Omo told me the school rule is that cell phones are supposed to be off and put away; however, he chooses to pick and choose his battles. Mr. Omo explained that if the children are working diligently, he doesn’t really harp on the students’ using their phones.

This actually infuriated me. Well, I didn’t get that mad, but I began to wonder how I would handle cell phone use in my classroom.  I would think the rules would be more strict now that technology is so advanced, but I’ve found the opposite. I think I may make my students suffer the way I did and ban cell phone use in my classroom.

How will I deal with students packing up before the bell rings? (*One of my biggest pet peeves as a student)
We are all busy. Teachers are busy. Students are busy. Everyone is busy. I understand this; however, if class ends at 3:15, it ends at 3:15. I cannot stand when people around me in a classroom start packing up before time is over. Plus, we pay for every minute!

I heard some shuffling before the bell rang during my field experience, and I began to wonder how I am going to handle students packing up before the bell rings. If it bothers me this much as a student, I can only imagine how much it will both me as a teacher.

Wow. I sound like a tyrant. This should be interesting!

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