I've read them now a number of times and just keep thinking I must be being "Punk'd." I understand that some people are just assholes, but I rarely see such public displays of it. Anyway. I can't wait for the next division meeting when I can introduce these two to each other. I will do it VERY SLOWLY, though, since that seems to be a crucial step to making one's point - as discussed below.
From Lester to the Humanities Listserv:
In the last five years, I've rarely had a problem in my classes about texting or phones--once the first phone goes off. I know it is going to happen, and I wait for it.
I simply stop my lecture, walk VERY SLOWLY over to the offending student, look down, and say, "No, no, it's all about you. You are special. We will wait." I fold my arms, burn a hole through their head with a stare, and wait while they crawl under their desk. No kidding. Humiliation still works. Points off for attendance, grade reduction, none of that, at least for me, is effective. But the entire class remembers that first student who got lased. And word gets around. They also know I bend over backwards to be fair to them, so they know they have it coming. Of course, if it is YOUR phone that goes off, well, then, never mind.
But I warn them on the first day of each new semester that if a phone goes off in class that they will not like my response. I don't tell them what I'm going to do.
If I'm showing a film and they try to text, I pause the film, walk VERY SLOWLY to the light switch, flip on the lights, then repeat the above process. They are absolutely horrified. Even the jock-type guys.
In fact, most of them have come up to me after class and have apologized. I even ran into a student working at Hastings a year later who told me they double-check that their phone is off before their classes begin.
So, phone control is rarely a problem. Peer pressure is still the best preventative I've found. No one likes to be singled out. Anyway, it works for me but may not for everybody. I'm hardly original in this approach. Unfortunately, I learned it first-hand nearly 60 years ago, from Mrs. Whiteman, my 1st grade teacher. Just the thought of her, walking VERY SLOWLY toward my desk, still makes me slightly queasy.
From Warren to Lester (& the Listserv)
Perhaps I've missed something here, but why would anyone want to reproduce queasiness and humiliation in a classroom?
From Lester back to Warren (& once again, the rest of us.)
Why, yes, I believe you have missed something. In the adult world, where some of us reside, it's called accepting personal responsibility for the consequences of one's actions. And here's how it works: Humiliation is the price one pays for not following the rules; queasiness is your body telling you that you've just screwed up. It's that simple. And once students learn that, improper behavior disappears. I hope this explanation demystifies the process for you. If not, perhaps a visit from Mrs. Whiteman will clear things up.