Thursday, 29 November 2012

My Thoughts on Headphones

     Last week I read a blog post  over at The Spicy Learning Blog that really got me thinking about some of my thoughts on classroom procedures and what type of policies and procedures I would have in my future classroom. During my student teaching placement at "S-School" I was told by many teachers that the school policy was that students were to not be wearing headphones while in the classroom. There were some specific students, however, that had permission to wear headphones to assist in their attention while working on projects and assignments.

     What I found though was that this policy varied classroom to classroom based on what worked for that teacher and their specific students. Being a student teacher and only being in the class a short period of time, however, I decided to maintain whatever policy my cooperating teachers had in place prior to my visit so that the students had consistent routines. If I did have my own classroom though, I definitely think that I would allow my students to wear headphones! Here are some of my thoughts that came up while reading The Spicy Learning Blog's post and reflecting in general about it:

- Headphones are perfect for those students who are auditory learners
  (whose to say that headphones HAVE to mean that students only use them
  for music? They could be listening to podcasts or watching TEDEd lessons on
  the subject we are learning about)

- There would have to be clear procedures about when headphones could be
   used. I wouldn't be comfortable with students listening to music or videos
   while I or another student was presenting information.
   (only during "work time")

- Headphones could help create that solitude that students may need sometimes
  (especially students who may be more introverted)

- Students may be cheating if they listen to headphones during tests (by having
   recorded answers)

- Headphones may help students focus on the task at hand, whether that is a
  writing assignment, project, studying, etc

- As a teacher, I could have an iPod or iPad loaded with a pre-set playlist so that
  students could listen to that music during a test and I could ensure that they weren't

What are your thoughts? Does you school have a policy on headphone use? 
What are your pros and cons?


  1. I LOVE the idea of having headphones available for students!! It's the perfect balance between giving the auditory kiddos some extra stimulation, while not bugging the heck out of the kids that need a quiet work space. When I was student teaching I sometimes rewarded the class by playing music when they were working well independently, which some of them loved and some of them didn't love. Having the opportunity to listen to music or podcasts would be such a cool incentive to work hard! And it also brings music back into the classroom... another plus!

    Thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks for your comment Bailey! I can't wait until I have my own classroom so I can set up a system that works for my students :)

  2. You brought up a lot of good points for why a school might want to allow headphones for certain students. I agree that it should be on a case by case basis, provided the teacher knows the student and that the student knows if they abuse the privilege, it will be taken away from them. However, I think headphones are great for those students that are auditory learners and I agree with Bailey that we should work on getting music back into the classrooms! I'm of the opinion that music and art help facilitate learning and don't detract from the experience unless students abuse it.

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