The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

History Teachers See Improvement After Requiring Underclassmen to Store Phones in Caddies

Sophia Hady
Creek history teachers have begun to see an increase in attention during class after requiring their underclassmen students to store phones in caddies during class.

Many social studies teachers have noticed students playing games on their phones instead of paying attention in class. In August, freshmen and sophomore history teachers started implementing a policy that requires underclassmen to keep their phones in phone holders during class. 

“Basically the freshman and sophomore teachers in the social studies department decided to come to an agreement,” U.S history teacher Kerry Moyer said. “We would use cell phone [pockets].”

Over the past few years, history teachers have noticed an increase in kids using phones during class. Teachers were finding it more and more difficult to keep kids engaged and off their phones.

The idea started back in January of 2023 when history teachers started noticing a decrease in engagement and concentration. 

“[Over] the last several years, the phone usage in class has been a huge distraction,” Moyer said. 

The social studies department wanted to start with underclassmen because they noticed that they had a big problem with being on their phones during class. Most of the incoming freshmen from Campus and West had already been required to use phone pockets throughout middle school. 

“It was easier to start with freshman class because they were coming in from middle school, they already are not supposed to have them out. So it’s kind of ingrained in them,” social studies department coordinator Carri Erickson said. 

It likely won’t be integrated into the upperclassmen’s history classes because most history teachers think they are emotionally mature enough to know when not to be on phones. Even with the sophomores, some teachers are more relaxed with enforcing the policy. 

“I will say I’ve gotten more relaxed with the sophomores because I think they’ve realized ‘Oh I can’t be on my phone,’” U.S history and Psychology teacher Julia Isenhart said. 

Many find that this is not only a problem in Creek, but worldwide. Erickson used to work at a school in Germany and experienced the same problems with students being too distracted by their phones to care about what’s going on in school. 

Many schools have started requiring students to keep their phones somewhere else, whether it be caddys or backpacks. According to U.S News, approximately 80% of schools in the U.S prohibited using phones if not for academic use. 

“When I used to work in Ohio we did a version of the phone pockets and I really loved it,” Isenhart said. “It worked really, really well.”

Moyer feels that the increase in phone usage is a side effect of COVID and a lack of in-person socialization. According to Children’s Innovation Center, overusing phones negatively impacts teens’ social skills, by causing teenagers to lose the ability to have meaningful conversations. 

“Some students are so into they’re phones that they don’t actually socialize well with others,” Erickson said. 

Since the implementation of the new policy, social studies teachers have observed an increase in concentration and engagement in the classroom. 

“The teachers have already noticed that the students are doing better, that they are paying attention more, they’re more engaged [in class],” Erickson said.

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About the Contributor
Sophia Hady
Sophia Hady, Features Editor
Hey I’m Sophia. I’m a sophomore at creek and this is my second year as part of the USJ. This year I am the Features Editor. I love journalism because it gives me a chance to share people’s story and voice my opinions in a professional manner. Outside of journalism, I love being with friends and reading. I’m so excited for what’s to come this year.

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