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I am a substitute teacher at Mahomet and Unit 4 schools.

I enjoy interacting with the students and helping them learn. Pre-cellphone years were much more fun and less distracting.

Last week, I worked a two-day assignment for the same teacher at Mahomet-Seymour High School. I asked the students to put away their phones, and while some did, others ignored my request. Those students were using their phones to make crude and obnoxious noises, which was very distracting, not to mention disrespectful.

Two students asked to go in the hallway to study, and four students apologized for the disobedient students’ behavior. I no longer substitute at Central or Centennial because cellphone usage is completely out of control. After last week, I doubt I take any more jobs at Mahomet.

When did it shift from teachers running the classroom to the students?

A high school in Battle Creek, Mich., had the same dilemma with cellphones and made it a rule that students could not use cellphones in the classroom. They have been successful in keeping cellphones out of the classroom for over two years.

In addition, the school has seen more face-to-face interaction, improved grades and a decrease in cyber bullying. Novak Academy introduced a no-cellphones-in-the-classroom rule this past fall. It was an adjustment for both students and parents, but the school has had extremely successful results. Let’s work as a community to make the schools a learning zone instead of a party place.

CAROL ZUHONE

Savoy