Cell Phones Distract, Teachers Say


Bineta Lo and Maia Adeoye

How do teachers feel about students using cellphones during class? 

Almost every single person at CHS owns a cellular device whether it’s a staff member or a student. Cellphones can really come in handy with just a single tap from checking emails, to sending a quick text message. Over time, students overusing cellphones has been becoming an issue with teachers. 

Many CHS teachers noticed that students ask questions repetitively because they spend a lot of time on their phones. 

“When students are called upon, they have no idea what was going on because they weren’t paying attention. They often miss directions and have difficulty completing assignments, which required their attention,” art teacher Jessica Voss explained. 

Ms. Voss is not the only teacher who faces the problem of having distracted students ask the same questions.  

Science teacher Danielle Rivera also faces similar issues with concentration. 

“Students are consistently checking messages, playing games or doing other things rather than paying attention. The students who are on their phones consistently ask me about the questions about things I have already said or explained compared to students who are not on their phones,” Dr. Rivera said. 

There are many instances where some CHS students use cellphones in ways that are not very appropriate. School social worker Christina Puglisi mentions what she has noticed among students using their cellphones during school. 

“Cellphones also serve a major distraction when students use it to…record negative peer interactions or harass peers by recording others without permission,” Ms. Puglisi said. 

Although, many teachers are not happy with the way students use cellphones, business and tech ed department chair Tracy Rehmert thinks there is a benefit side to the use of cellphones. 

“I think cellphones are a distraction…often I find students texting under their desks, etc. There are also the occasional game players, social media posters, etc. On the flip side, I ask students use their phones as calculators, for Kahoot, etc. Gotta take the good with the bad,” Ms. Rehmert said. 

Of 27 teachers who responded to the question, “Do you see cellphones as a distraction In the classroom?” 26 responded “yes.” Lack of focus on teacher directions and classrooms task was the number one concern. 

Not every teacher, however, sees cellphones as a distraction. 

“I do not see it as a distraction. I see it as helping the student focus. The problem is TIMING…when is the right time and when is the wrong time to the phone,” special education teacher Alicia Brady said.