Why Students' Cell Phones belong in a Shoe Bag!

Are cell phones a problem in your classroom?  Do you find that students are easily distracted because of their phones?  I accepted a 7 week EAP contract at a local college a few weeks ago.  It has been more than a year since I taught young international students studying English in Canada.  I am not sure if students are becoming more addicted to their cell phones (and can't put them away for even a minute) or I have less tolerance for the constant distraction of phone use and texting.  

I spotted a former colleague in a classroom last week and popped in to say hello.  I noticed a shoe bag hanging on the wall near the door and asked about it.  She said that she set up a system of using the shoe bag for cell phones and it has worked like a charm.  If I do return to the EAP class in the summer, I will be bringing my shoe bag with me!

She also said that she uses this Breaking News lesson plan http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1506/150612-mobile-phones-0.html with students on the first day of class so they can see the relationship between cell phone use and grades! 

(Last Fall, I wrote about attention residue and how frequent disruptions (like texting or checking emails) can affect our concentration  https://www.patricepalmer.ca/blog/why-teachers-and-students-should-know-about-deep-work-and-attention-residue). 

I asked my son who is studying at University of Toronto about phone use in his classes. He said that some professors insist that students put their phones away (and close their laptops too) whereas other profs don't seem to be too bothered.

What has been your experience with cell phones in the classroom? I would love to hear from you.



I recently met Andrew from Teacher Finder and was interested to learn more about how he got started, and how Teacher Finder can help teachers find more language students. Visit Teacher Finder at http://bit.ly/2ll765r

Andrew, can you tell me when you started Teacher Finder?

Teacher Finder started 3 years ago as Learn English Budapest. I was living there as an expat looking for a venture to get involved with and decided that playing matchmaker between teacher and student would be a good idea. When the idea proved to be a good one, I decided that it was something that could be expanded, and just over a year ago I started Teacher Finder to take the idea across Europe and the world.

How did you come up with the idea for Teacher Finder?

In Budapest, I had a few expat friends who were teachers. They would always tell me how laborious and time-consuming the process of finding new private students was. With my background in website design and marketing, I realized that this was an area I could help with. 

How many cities do you work in now?  

We're in about 40 cities at the moment, mostly in Europe, but also in Canada, Australia and Asia.

Do you have plans to expand?

Yes, we do. As well as growing our presence in Europe, we are looking to launch in the US by the end of the year.

Thanks Andrew.  A great idea!  


Online Resource

Check out this interactive grammar program.  http://www.granav.com/

 Have something to say?  Want to get published? 

The Font welcomes submissions of high quality short stories, articles, essays, anecdotes, poems, cartoons and other forms of creative writing or visual art which provide insight, reflection, humour, and inspiration on the theme of language teaching or learning, particularly abroad. In other words, the theme must be in some way related to language teaching or learning or of interest to those connected to this profession. March 1 deadline for the Spring issue.  Submissions may be sent to http://submissions@thefontjournal.com

PS - Congratulations to my friend Chris Mares for having one of his short stories accepted for the Spring issue!

The MWIS (Materials Writers Interest Section - of TESOL International) newsletter (August) needs articles, reviews and you! Contact http://alex.monceaux@lamar.edu by July 5.

Happy teaching! Patrice


About Me

My name is Patrice Palmer, M.Ed., M.A., TESL and I reside in Canada. I have 20 years’ experience as an ESL Teacher, TESL Trainer, and Curriculum Writer in Canada including 7 amazing years in Hong Kong. I have taught students from 8 to 80 years in a variety of programs such as ESP, EAP, Business English, and language programs for new immigrants in Canada.  I now work as a teacherpreneur (check out my other website at http://www.teacherpreneur.ca) doing the things that I love such as writing courses, blogging, sharing teaching materials, and instructional coaching for new teachers. Having a flexible schedule allows me to conduct short-term training around the world at any time of the year.  Download free teaching resources at http://www.patricepalmer.ca

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