I hate busting students for technology violations, probably because I know how easy it is for me to get distracted by tech. But rules are rules and for the most part enforcing them is a part of helping students monitor their own behavior and develop good habits.
So when I looked over today towards the end of study hall and saw the tell-tale movements of thumbs under the desk, I sighed and said, “X, I need to see you please.” (Students are not allowed to use cell phones during the day in the Middle School.) As the student approached my desk, I realized what he was holding was not a cell phone, but an incredibly sweet wireless keyboard. (You can get your own here.) “Dude, I need to get a picture of that!” I exclaimed. He smiled, knowing my love of all things tech.
Although I think I have generally good “teacher intuition” and can evaluate situations quickly, I’ve learned that it’s better to start with questions, rather than accusations. Today was a good reminder that things are not always as they seem.