A Day In The Life Of Scott

If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion

“Is the Keppra really working?” … and random thoughts ‘bout cell phones in school

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As of today it has officially been one week for James being on the new medication. I hope it is not just a fluke, but he has not had a seizure since Saturday. Really this was one small seizure in eight days. NICE.

What’s more, the side effects seem to be subsiding to some degree. For whatever reason, the aggression and constant moodiness that I had to live with last weekend has passed. Again, I don’t want to breathe too much yet, because the dose gets doubled next week, but for now it is looking very promising. However, I am going to cross my fingers that because he is used to it, doubling the dose will have minimal effect. I will keep you posted.


Just as a point of interest – cell phones – I think they are great, I am a proud cell owner myself, but is there a limit?

I was reading an article earlier this afternoon and there was a mother in the U.S. claiming that the school her children went to should be responsible for providing them with a cellphone so that they can be reached in the event of an emergency.

I thought this was particularly absurd. Now, in my classroom I have had the argument from kids telling me that they “need to keep the cellphone one because mom is going to be texting” or other such “yada yada” excuses. I am pretty sure their parents can call the school and have their child paged to the office, or even have the secretary notify them of whatever situation is deemed important enough to be interrupting class.

I am kind of on the fence about cell phones. They are great tools, and if any kid has one and is about to access the internet, power to them. I have always made it a point to allow students to use their phones in class – to a point. I make it clear that I do NOT want to catch anyone on facebook, texting or snapping pictures. I’ve had math classes download apps for scientific or graphing calculators, and I have encouraged science classes to use them to search interesting videos on YouTube. I see nothing wrong with it.

I have always been kind of a nerd, and perhaps that is why I tend to embrace the technology rather than fight it. I know the kids are going to be using their phones anyway, so why not use them for good things. I cannot judge them if I am standing at the front of the room using mine. No not for texting, it just so happens that it was much faster to log into the computer system and take attendance from the smartphone than it was to wait for the laptop to boot up.

Cell phones seem to be rather controversial subjects in school. Some teachers, like me, are all for it so long as they are being used to do good things. Other teachers, would prefer to have kids power down and stay powered down until they are out of school.

For me, this is a similar debate to allowing students to use iPods/ MP3 players in class. Today it is sort of up to the teacher, but back in the day it was a definite no-no and the device would be confiscated. I recall a few years back being in staff meetings trying to decide whether to allow the devices or not. At one point it was said that they had to be put away in class – although most kids never listened and teachers in general were too relaxed at enforcing the rule. I am guilty as charged.

Why would I blatantly defy my administrators’ request? Well, in all honestly it was never blatant at all, but I also am a firm believe that music calms the mind. I would teach my lessons and do what had to do; then I would assign work. If a student had an iPod in their pocket they would usually take it out, listen to music and get their work done with minimal distraction to others.

Ah ha! Some students work well with music. If they work with music and don’t bother the others around them, I am not going to say too much. In fact, there was a secret code in my classes during the few years music players were “evil devices not to be in school”: hide the wires and put the ear piece only in one ear (the one NOT facing the classroom door where the principal could see) so to make it less obvious that music is on. My kids knew I wasn’t going to say anything unless they were overtly disruptive and not getting work done.

For a few years I was pushing to allow the use of MP3 players in class at the teacher’s discretion. I love music myself, and personally work better with some music in the background than without. Finally, last year it became true and I no longer had to make my kids sneak around with their earphones hiding.

Oh, those were fun times; telling kids to run the wires behind their ear rather than across their front so neither of us would get caught – They with the iPod and me for not taking it away.


Anyway, that was just some food for thought that sort of ended on a random tangent. Good night.


Author: Scott Oosterom

I live in Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, Canada. I teach high school math/ science at Chief Little Pine School in Little Pine, Sk.

One thought on ““Is the Keppra really working?” … and random thoughts ‘bout cell phones in school

  1. Glad to hear the Keppra is working, my side effects didn’t start until my dose doubled! Keep an eye on James because my rage started very quickly. I hope it goes well. 🙂

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