I recently wrote an employer
about not using cellphones
I recently wrote an employer "Hi [redacted],
I still have availability Thursday & Friday (and weekends) if you want to set something up, say, for January. [redacted] employs me Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday at $50 per class, does all its communication with me using Telegram, and a cell phone is not required. (Telegram doesn't require a cellphone, whereas whatsapp for example does.)
There is a growing, and wise, movement to ban cell phones in schools:
And it doesn't go far enough: "The directive would only apply to public elementary and high schools and would still allow teachers to use mobile phones for lessons." -- IMO It's important to avoid 'rules for me and rules for thee' or a 'double-standard' between teacher and student whenever possible at all, and to to set an example for children that cell phones are NOT necessary or obligatory: I've witnessed too much mental damage from the always-connected world.
(I could go on and on, cite several academic disciplines, and cite a lot of data, and whistleblowers too! 'The facebook whistleblower' (Frances Haugen) for instance revealed that instagram was known to be worse for teen suicide than facebook and meta happily promoted their new platform anyway, without solving the problem!)
Teachers can use a tablet or laptop without a tracking device and explain the difference to students, if they want to use a computer for lesson purposes.
Cell phones are of course, also a conventional (non-psychological) security hole and I don't consent to carrying a tracking device, nor should we teach children to consent to this, or be modelling this with our own behavior. I do all my banking without a cell phone and use skype for 2FA. Owning a cellphone means your cell phone can be stolen or lost and your identity can be hacked immediately. I refuse to use all services that don't support skype for 2FA, such as instagram.
Being also in tech education with some background in computer security this is more salient and brand-relevant for me as a teacher. In politics and activism I'm also more concerned about security holes. (eg US lawmakers can no longer use Huawei devices, to avoid CCP surveillance -- btw that's where weird 5G conspiracy theories come from: the CCP wants you to stay on 4G so they can surveil the west. No joke.)
I am also keely aware of technology's role in attention-span and ADHD in children, having researched attention-span intensively in school, even developing some software measures to attempt to measure attention-span more accurately.
Happy to work for [redacted] but if a cell phone is required I think by January I will call the schools myselves, but not with a cell phone
I would suggest this: when teachers arrive at a classroom for the first few weeks they should call you from the classroom phone to check-in and establish a chain of communication for emergencies. (This chain can be defined on a per-site basis: In some cases the school may have someone we should call, in others teachers would call you first.)
PS the latest in the news on this broader topic: