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Old 09-25-2011, 11:28 AM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is offline
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Do You Give Parents Your Cell Phone Number? Why or why not?

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!

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 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
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2011, 11:34 AM
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amakaye amakaye is offline
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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!)
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:35 AM
Elocin Elocin is offline
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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.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:37 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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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.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:38 AM
MissCeliaB MissCeliaB is offline
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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.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:40 AM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elocin View Post
I block my numbers if I make after-school calls from home...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...

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amakaye View Post
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!)
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.
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2011, 11:42 AM
Curiouscat Curiouscat is offline
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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.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:45 AM
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Em_Catz Em_Catz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiouscat View Post
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.
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)
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2011, 11:49 AM
5throx 5throx is offline
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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.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:50 AM
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amakaye amakaye is offline
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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.
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