Do You Give Parents Your Cell Phone Number? Why or why not?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Em_Catz, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Sep 25, 2011

    Being 27, I'd say I'm part of the cell-phone/facebook generation, but I cannot imagine giving a parent my cell phone number or friending them on any social network! :eek:

    I guess because teachers are having more and more responsbility dumped on us and taking so much home to do (ie: i have to grade papers, enter them into the computer, then into my hard copy gradebook, then write "comments" on them like "your venn diagram is very informative" if I want to hang them up) that I like knowing that I don't have to talk to a parent during my evenings and weekends.

    I feel so accessible all the time -- parents don't mind popping in during your lunch break/after school/5 minutes before school to "chat", so having my cell phone as a last barrier is nice. E-mails can also be a pain because if you don't answer right away, parents complain.

    When a parent is transferred directly to my room, I feel a little irritated because I'm often in the middle of something and it's unexpected (99.9% of the time only the secretary and other teachers call us on our phones).

    I can see if a parent called my cell phone and I click "ignore" or don't click over from the other call I'm on, the parent being upset and complaining.

    One of my co-workers, who is also in her 20s, is the complete opposite. The majority of parents in her class have her phone number and she'll text them sometimes during the day to ask questions, give updates on their child, etc.

    More power to her :thumb: but I just can't see myself being that dedicated unless -

    1) I have a child with severe physical/emotional issues that require immediate contact with the parent

    2) I'm taking the students on an overnight field trip and/or on a faraway field trip

    3) The county starts requiring us too :lol:
     
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  3. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I live in a small town, and teach at a small parochial school, so it's a bit different for me. It is the culture at our school to give your phone number out for parent phone calls in the evenings. Since I only have a cell phone, parents have my number. I tell parents at the beginning of the year not to call after 8:30 and that I might not be able to get back to them immediately. I have never had a problem--I only get a few phone calls, mostly at the beginning of the year when they are getting used to routines, assignments, etc. (Although, I do often let it go to voicemail, and then call them back, especially for certain parents!)
     
  4. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I block my numbers if I make after-school calls from home. 1) I don't want parents using those numbers and 2) I don't want my students figuring out that is my number!

    I have a friend who gives parents and students her # and lets them text her with HW questions. It works for her but makes me leery. She says it takes away from any excuses that she isn't accessible (or that kids couldn't do HW/projects bc of questions) -a lot of our families don't have internet but almost everyone has access to SOME sort of phone.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Guru

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    Sep 25, 2011

    If we're on a field trip and splitting into groups, I put my cell phone number on all students' and chaperones' information cards they carry with them...no big deal. On a typical day I only answer calls from those in my phone's contact list anyway—just about every single call is from my husband, sister, or mother—so if a parent decided to keep my number I wouldn't answer the call anyhow, I wouldn't respond to a message left, and wouldn't be expected to by administration. So, in general there is no need to give parents my number, but I don't guard it like Fort Knox either. :)
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Fanatic

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    Sep 25, 2011

    A few of my parents have it. Some of my drama students have it. When I take a group to New York later this year, those students and parents will get my number. I don't print it on my business cards, though.
     
  7. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Sep 25, 2011


    I'm so with you on the leery part. It just seems weird somehow...as a kid I had a few teachers that would call my parents from their house and I always thought it was so weird to see their name on the caller i.d.

    That's a blessing you only get a few calls! My parents highly respect teachers since we have so many in our family, but I know they would've been the type to (as the kids say in this area) "blow up" the teacher's phone. They would've definately called the teacher at least twice a week about missing homework, bad test scores, etc.
     
  8. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    No, I do not give out my home or cell number. Never have and never will. If the school requires it then they can foot the bill for my cell and home phone.
    Reasons: 1. The parents can access me through email which I do check around 6:30 each night. Yes, parents know I check it at that time.
    2. I have voice mail at work where they can leave me a message 24/7. I can access my voicemail24/7.
    3. My spouse goes to bed very early because of his job. Therefore, I do don't want anyone calling and waking him up, nor do I want our limited family time taken up by phone calls.
    4. In my opinion 99 percent of the calls can wait til morning. For example, I sent home a note saying students can bring in a healthy snack. A parent called to say she read my note and wanted to ask if I was providing the snack or should she send in a snack each day. I explained the student needed to bring a snack from home. Next question, can I send in something like a candy bar or potato chips? No, the snack needs to be healthy. Next question, do you provide the students a drink, like a cup of juice or a water bottle? No, I am not
    that wealthy! Ridiculous!
    5. I have a hard enough time letting go of work when I leave. I really don't need to invite work to intrude on my personal life.
     
  9. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Sep 25, 2011

    :yeahthat: If ever the administration starts requiring us to give out our cell phone numbers, I'm printing out your post because those are great reasons (though i can totally see the county shelling out for cell phones for teachers so we can be reached whenever they want us...talk about a Brave New World)
     
  10. 5throx

    5throx Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2011

    There's not a chance in this world or the next I would give that number out (or friend a parent on facebook). The only parent with whom I am friends with on facebook and who has my cell phone number is one of my teammates whose daughter is in my class (she doesn't want to teach her own kids), but under normal circumstances I don't tell parents or students my phone number, I don't friend anyone on facebook unless I know exactly who they are and that they have no connection to the parents or students in my class.
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Sep 25, 2011

    That's a blessing you only get a few calls! My parents highly respect teachers since we have so many in our family, but I know they would've been the type to (as the kids say in this area) "blow up" the teacher's phone. They would've definately called the teacher at least twice a week about missing homework, bad test scores, etc.[/QUOTE]

    I forgot to add that we don't have a phone system at school. So parents can call us, but can't leave a voice mail (only a message with the secretary for us to call back). I also don't have e-mail at home, so I can't check it in the evening. I do tell parents that e-mail (or message through our online grading system) is the best way to contact me, so they usually only call to ask things like HW questions. I know one other teacher had to have a conversation with a parent about when they should call, and when they could just e-mail or send a note.
     
  12. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Sep 25, 2011

    The only parent that has my number is the Room Parent. In friendly words, I told her to only use it for Room Parent responsibilities that can't wait (Maybe if she's out shopping for an upcoming party and needs clarification on something).
    I will add that I do not answer phone calls from parents. I had a mom get my number because she was a teacher at my same school. She went on the staff phone tree and got my number. I ignored every one of her calls. I did email her the next day saying I got her message and I'd answer her questions via email.
    I told my parents I am off at 3:45 every day and on weekends and not to expect an answer back on the email until I return back to work. I also then said that in reality I don't leave work til 5 and I am usually working on the weekend so they probably will get an answer, but not to expect one. :)
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I am mixed...I give some parents and not others. It depends on the relationship I have with them.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Phenom

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    I absolutely wouldn't do that. That's just my personality. I tell parents that the best way to reach me is through e-mail, and they'll get a much quicker response that way. I check my e-mail several times a day at school, and several times at night too. I do have a phone with voicemail in my classroom, and of course I do give that number to parents, but still tell them I'll be able to respond more quickly via e-mail.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2011

    My contract day ends at about a quarter to two in the afternoon. I'm not going to be making myself available all afternoon and evening long to field calls from parents when I'm not getting paid for that. Perhaps this is a simplistic view of the situation, but it works for me. I think that we teachers do far, far too much for far, far too little pay. If we stopped being SO accessible and SO ready to jump at a moment's notice, maybe we'd have a better time. Certainly from a personal perspective being available to parents at all hours of the day and night isn't good for me. My afternoon/evening time is for my family, not for anyone else's family.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2011

    No. They have the school phone number.

    I give them my school email address.

    I've never had a request for my home/cell number, and I wouldn't give it.

    The only time I've ever given that info out was when I was coaching Speech and Debate. (before cell phones.) A kid who was too sick to compete would call me to tell me not to hold the bus. In 18 years of coaching, not one kid abused it.
     
  17. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Sep 25, 2011

    No, but my teacher friend in New Jersey(charter school) does. The school gave her a cell phone and students can call her until 9 p.m. She says she only get 2 calls a week. I don't like that idea!!
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2011

    Parents of students in my class can leave me voice mail which goes directly to my email or send me an emil. The school office has my cell number if I'm needed at any time I'm away from the building. My tutoring families have my cell number..so my number is 'out there' but generally only friends and those with whom I work call me on my cell.
     
  19. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I give it out to chaperones on field trips and parents of my club students so they can contact me when we are away at weekend competitions. When I coached a non-school team that my students were on, I also gave it out to the team members. They called me on rainy days to see if the games were canceled, but they never abused it.
     
  20. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I have a few parents of former students on my fb and one current parent (when I friended her, she was the parent of a former student, but I've since had two other of her children in my class).

    I generally don't give out my cell number to parents. I can't say that I wouldn't, it's just that the need doesn't outweigh the potential headaches at the present time.
     
  21. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I don't give out my cell number. It is pretty much reserved for family and for making it easier for me to make my own appointments during breaks in my day.

    My home number is in the phone book if someone really needed to get hold of me. There are times I have given a parent my number without thinking about it, such as when we are on a field trip or maybe they are running late and call the office, the secretary will check with me and I will give them my number to call me.

    I broke down last year and started emailing parents. I didn't want to be in that position, because then they feel you are obligated to answer them in what they think is a timely manner, and I often don't use the computer at all at home. But, those parents were extremely respectful and the email worked great. I am using it again this year, and have sent mass emails in lieu of notes home (had lots of computer problems at home and school so could not print anything!).

    These parents are also respectful and don't bug me. If I had someone bugging me, I would quickly wean them off email by asking them to stop by before the bell or after school to talk.

    And I have to say, I think it is the height of rudeness for anyone to expect you to get on the phone when you are conducting class and in charge of supervising and teaching a room full of kids! Our previous secretary would interrupt my lessons constantly via the intercom. grrrr. When she started transferring parents into my room, I nipped it in the bud quickly. Told her she may NOT interrupt my class for a parent call unless it is an emergency. She may take a message and I will call them back.

    Our new secretary never uses the intercom! Sigh.
     

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