Thank God it's Friday

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Monday A mobile phone starts to ring during my English lesson. Abigail hastily switches it off and apologises. I tell her to take it to reception, where it should have been handed in at registration this morning. The rest of the class reach into their bags and quietly follow her out carrying their phones. Our surrender policy obviously isn't working.

Tuesday I jump through hoops trying to inspire my Year 6 class to produce a piece of creative writing. After modelling an opening on the title "Rescue", we dramatically leave Max clinging to the rockface and I ask them to complete the story on their own.

Wednesday The finished stories are a little disappointing; three-quarters say Max got out his mobile phone, dialled 999 and was rescued. This means of communication seems to be helping to kill imagination, so in future, advice given in preparation for national curriculum tests will be: "It wasn't all a dream and you don't have your mobile phone with you."

Thursday A colleague and I are speaking at a conference today. I remind her that last time we were on a course together her mobile rang. She turns white and explains that she has a new phone and doesn't know how to turn it off. As we go up to speak, she hands the instrument to another teacher, telling her to run like mad if it rings. Life used to be so much simpler.

Friday Our PSE lesson today focuses on responsibility. I read my class a story about a boy who goes up on the moors and gets lost. I ask the children what he should have done, and receive a resounding chorus of: "He should have taken his mobile phone with him."

Sharon Taylor is an English teacher and year head at a middle school in Somerset

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