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April 27, 2004



Here's a couple:

"If anyone's cell phone rings, the entire class receives 5 points off their final grade." This way, you don't have to track down the offender - their classmates will do it for you. ;)

Loudly announce to the class: "Apparently X has money to waste by not paying attention in a $__ class." Or some variation therof. A) embarassment, B)reminder of pocketbook = classtime.

"Should your cellphone ring in class, I will ask you to leave and not come back." Works wonders the first time you enforce it.

Just my five cents. ;)


A few recent professors of mine have included a "no cell phone" clause in their syllabi. In these classes, I've only heard a phone ring once. The instructor made a semi-joke about it and no rings were heard for the rest of the semester.

Some students, myself included, put their phones on silent. On the silent setting, my phone buzzes instead of ringing, but since it's in my bag I can't hear/feel the buzz. Many classmates leave their phones on their desks so they can (a) read text messages; (b) send text messages; (c) see who's calling them; and possibly, in one case where the guy was beeping an awful lot of keypads, (d) playing some kind of game. All of these are exceedingly rude, IMHO. Unless you're waiting for an organ transplant (and I'm sure the professor would understand in this circumstance is you explain it to her), you can wait until the class is over to deal with your cell phone.


Given Isabel's points re: text messaging, etc., my syllabus says (as a short part of a section entitled "Courtesy"):

"The added functionality of modern cell phones (text messaging, games, etc.) means that it is no longer enough to ask that ringers be turned off, or set to vibrate. I must also require that phones be put away for the duration of the class."

I was driven to this precisely by a cluster of text-messaging students, who apparently didn't realize just how distracting it is to watch.


I have to admit I'm suddenly infused with an impish vision of either (a) going to stand near the texting cluster with a look of intense fascination on my face until they look up and realize class has stopped to watch them, or (b) when the phone rings, stopping right in the middle of whatever I'm doing to go leaping up the aisle saying, "I'll get it!"

There are probably good reasons I'm no longer teaching. ;)

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