Here's the thing, when one is teaching addition facts to the second grade, one really doesn't expect to hear the jingling of a cellphone. One would be foolish to not expect the unexpected.
Yes, last week during my math lesson, I was rather startled to hear a cellphone going off...from Shanique's pocket. She's pretty small for the second grade. This made it seem even more ludicrous that she was carrying around a cellphone. My raised eyebrow look made her start to talk..."That's probably my auntie."
"Your auntie doesn't need to talk to you in the middle of math, may I have that please?"
She handed it over, I turned the volume to vibrate and left it on my desk. It vibrated a bit later in the day, and I ignored it. At the end of the day we proceeded to the auditorium and met up with my AP, who naturally asked Shanique why she had a cellphone. Things became clearer when her brother, who's in the fourth grade, strode across the lobby...talking on his cellphone. Same question posed to him. "My Mom needs to know we got back to the shelter safe."
AP and I looked at each other and shared a mental "goddammit we can't do anything to help here," sigh. AP said, "Okay, you can keep them, but Shanique, you need to give yours to Miss V. at the beginning of every day and get it back at the end, and Darnell, YOU need to let Mrs S. know you have it, and if it rings in class, it belongs to her." And we watched the nine year old take his seven year old sister out the door to walk her "home."
Some days it doesn't seem to matter that I can teach people to read.