Ah, the convenience of modern technology. Those smartphones can be so useful to the teacher during the lesson. I use mine to take photos. I tell my students that their position is so perfect that I’m going to take a photo of them for myself – and send a copy to their parents. They are so proud when I do this. I also offer to take a video if an older student doesn’t come equipped with a mother and a phone that can do this (it happens) and send it to them via one of those marvelous apps. I can make a video of a student playing with poor posture and then with good posture and show him the difference. I also use my tablet with the music apps so I can keep all my scores and parts in one very small and convenient place and, being connected to wi-fi, can make corrections and send them to the student via email in case she “forgets” to bring the right part with her that day. And the apps for metronomes and tuning? Ah yes, I don’t know what I would do without my smartphone. And it also serves for me to receive urgent telephone calls from parents who have suddenly discovered their child has a fever and can’t come to lesson. It also is useful in case of family emergencies. Or text messages telling me that a student is delayed but arriving.
Yes, I love my smartphone. Thank heavens I have it at lessons and am connected to my server and wi-fi. I am smart enough to know that I shouldn’t be talking casually on the phone during the lesson. No one has to remind me of this. I am an adult, after all. But on rare occasion I have to take phone calls – for example, when my doctor calls me about something important (I have had issues), or my daughter tells me she has gone into labor so I can worry about her appropriately (this happens rarely). So why is it as a teacher, I should feel entitled to tell all the parents of my students that they can’t have their smartphones or use them during lesson time? Are they not adults, too?
But how can we deal with parents who (ab)use those pesky cell phones during lesson time?
Here are some suggestions gleaned from various internet forums: