Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Privileges versus Entitlements

Dear Dialog,

Recently it has come to my attention that many of my students are taking advantage of privileges in my classroom. Some of these students seem to believe that these privileges are now entitlements. defines Privilege as " a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most". also defines the word Entitle as " to give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something".

Currently, it is a privilege in my classroom to use a cellphone for music and the occasional text or phone call with permission. Seeing as though many students now believe that they can answer calls from anyone in class without permission, communicate with others to "meet up" during class and overall, be rude and inconsiderate, I have implemented a cell phone ban during my 5th and 6th period classes. My 1st, 2nd and 3rd period classes are on the cusp of this happening to them too. The moment students enter my room, they are required to surrender their cell phone (turned off) and placed it into the cell phone box on my desk. They are able to text or make calls during our three minute passing periods if they have me for both class periods. Many students were not happy with this ban and I gave my principal a heads up that a few may come and complain about my new rules. 

A few students also seem to believe that they are entitled to leave my class at any point without notifying me to get food from a fellow teacher, go to the restroom, or just wander and take their leisurely time returning. Because of their actions, I have also instituted a hall pass. This is a first for me and I hope that I never have to use it again. When a student leaves, and I mean only one student at a time may leave, they are required to take the new hall pass with them and return back in a reasonable amount of time so that others, who are now waiting for them to return, may leave. This new hall pass is a very very very big jug with a National Guard lanyard attached to it so it is quite visible to anyone who sees them or walks by.

I am just waiting to see how quickly it will take for students to earn back their privilege to use their cell phones in class. Students may use an I-pod or Pandora on the computers to listen to music, but cell phones are now off limits until further notice.

Let the groaning commence!!!!!!!

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