Put Down Your Phone for Your Child

Today, a student asked me a question that nearly broke my heart. The kind of question that caused me to pause and reflect on my life. Yeah, I know right?

It’s a busy week in my grade one classroom, you see. Tomorrow the First Grade is going on a field trip. I am not sure who had that bright idea. A field trip! The week after spring break! On a Wednesday! I am pretty sure it was my idea actually. Anyhow, the rest of this week we are preparing for one of my favorite days of the year: Student-Led Conferences.

My students are choosing their favorite stories to read to their parents. They are practicing teaching each other different math learning engagements and strategies. They are flipping through their portfolios and marking creations they are proud of, work they could have done better, and pieces they absolutely love.

Throughout this process they are asking a gazillion and one questions. Their excitement and nervousness to share their learning with their parents is tangible as their hands shoot up, again and again. Then one of my student’s asked me this question:

“What if we are sharing our work with our parents and they are on their mobile?”

This question almost broke my heart. I answered this six-year-old boy the same way I answer most questions my students ask, with a question of my own, directed to the whole class. What do you think would be a good thing to say or do if they are on their phone while you are sharing?

“You could say, ‘I worked very hard to share my work with you, could you please listen?'”

“You could take their phone and throw it across the room!”

“You could ask them to put their phone away.”

I also explained that sometimes parents like to take pictures of their child’s work or record them reading on their phone. They agreed that those were good reasons to have a phone out.

Could you imagine if you were at a school conference with your child and they asked you to put your phone away?

I left work that day still thinking about this boy’s question. It wasn’t until I was home that I realized I left my phone on my desk.

It made me smile.

(Until I realized I had to go back to work and get it. What can I say, I don’t know how to function without it.)



3 thoughts on “Put Down Your Phone for Your Child

  1. I am sometimes guilty of this. My son used to tell me to put away my phone so that we can play. It’s sad to read about it and I feel bad. It’s an eye opener. Thank you.

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