Phone Pockets Promote Controversy


Parker Blau

Phone Pocket hangs on door without any phones.

Whenever students walk into a class, it’s almost impossible to not notice the phone caddies. The caddies are designed to hold students’ phones for the entire class period.

Some students enjoy putting their phones in their caddy. Freshman Izzie Ramsay-Levitt said, “I like it. It helps me focus more because I’m not worried about what notifications I’m getting.”

Ramsay-Levitt added, “But, I also feel when [teachers] take away the phone, they know students can’t be on their phones.” This allows the teachers to focus on their class and not have to worry about students not paying attention.

Chemistry teacher Stephanie Verbanszky thinks that if students’ phones are within reach of them, that is all they are thinking about. Having her students put their phones away in class is “less anxiety inducing” and “allows [her] as well as students to have 1 less thing to think about while learning.”

Verbanszky used to not have a phone caddy and recalls many times when she would catch students on their phone when they were not supposed to be. Students definitely value their phones but in Verbanszky’s eyes, “values in class don’t include phones.”

Sophomore Jack Mooradian has a different opinion. “Teachers make me put my phone away and it causes my attention span to half,” said Mooradian. He believes being able to keep your phone in class actually makes you more productive. Mooradian likes to listen to music in class as it helps him stay focused.

Not all students become distracted by their phones. The ones who benefit from having their phones in reach find them very extremely helpful. Especially auditory learners who like hearing things, that can range from directions to music to normal class chatter. But, by taking those students’ phones away also takes the music that they could be listening to, and by doing that, will also take away the way they best learn.

When out of school, Mooradian always listens to music when doing homework and studying. Being able to listen to music during school greatly affects how productive Mooradian can be: “Music helps me study and do homework in class but the phone caddies don’t let me listen to music while studying.” At school, when he has to study or do homework, not being able to even listen to music and having to put his phone on the other side of the classroom deters his learning.

Principal Pete Alvarez said, “[Phones] are such a big part of our lives… In terms of it, it’s basically a computer in our hands. I think as both a student body and [as] a nation we spend countless hours on screens, [because of that] we often miss the social interactions between humans.”

Social interactions between students and teachers on campus are a big part of the high school experience. When students are on their phones 24/7, they aren’t getting the social interaction they need. Then, the students won’t be as socially developed. These phone caddies help the students distance themselves from their phones and get social interactions.

Alvarez also commented on how even though phones can be tools, they also provide more distractions than helpful information. He said, “But [phones] can also be distractions to the work that’s taking place at that moment, and can be a deterrent to acquisition of knowledge. Especially when our greatest resources are the teachers right in front of us delivering instruction during a lesson.”

Alvarez added that teachers are our best mentors, and the phones we so desperately try to keep in our pockets are not.