Cell phones with parents?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mrachelle87, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 19, 2015

    Today I had a parent come to school for an event and stopped in to talk to me. She asked a question that I couldn't answer without looking up the information, but we were in the middle of a fundraiser. I told her I would look up the information and let her know the answer. She then told me, "just give me your phone number and I will call you later." I told her that it was ok and I would send her the information. She kept saying, "just give me your number." I don't feel comfortable with this parent. I tried to get away from her because we were flooded with parents. Someone that was standing around suggested I text her so that she could have my number. I told her, "I will get you that information." I then smiled and walked away. I didn't promise to text her; she just assumed I would. Was I wrong? Do you give out your cell phone number? Two of my parents have my number because they had older daughters in my room two years ago. One of my mom's had it that year because we have older children in a group together. She shared my number with the others in class. Last year several parents had it because of the same mother. I had mothers texting me last year at five in the morning. I had parents that called my phone during school. I felt it was a problem, so I don't want to share it. Am I wrong for not passing out my cell phone number? I am available all through the day by email. I have sent home business cards with my email and my school phone and planning times. I don't feel that I have to do anymore.
     
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  3. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    I created a Google Voice number for parents like that. Also because it's not realistic to sit in the school office to call parents with others listening or so much happening in the office.

    Parents need to realize and set boundaries it's not ok to text anyone but family (maybe coworkers/admin since we work early hours) for emergency reasons at 5am.

    I prefer email contact as well, but sometimes a good old fashioned phone call needs to take place. Look into Google Voice if you feel it's necessary.
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm naturally drawn to e-mail as my preferred communication. I also use Remind 101 for texts. However, as far as phone calls go, the parents have my school number and that ought to be good enough.

    I've heard of plenty of teachers that do give parents their cell, but if you have had problems with it in the past, well, that's that. I doubt there is any requirement for you to give out your number.

    I think Google Voice sounds great.
     
  5. MsMika

    MsMika Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2015

    Once your number circulates, there is no stopping to it... problem is , not every parent will use it properly or decently ..
    You have every right to not share it and to even say so ...

    Just do try to come up with an alternative mean of communication though as the ones mentioned above ...
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I DON'T give out my personal cell phone number. Parents can contact me through regular school channels and I will get back to them during my contracted hours.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I wouldn't give out a personal number unless you had a separate phone specifically for parents and students to reach you after hours.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My cell phone is listed on our tutoring list. That's the ONLY reason s parent would have my cell number and I don't give it out to communicate with parents for any other reason. I tell parents email is the best way to reach me as I don't use my cell phone during the school day but check my school email frequently.
     
  9. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I think you were fine.
    It was wrong of those mothers to give out your number without your permission though!!
    I don't give out my number to parents unless the child is no longer in my class or if it was for babysitting (I used to work in daycare).
    I do give out my email address though.
     
  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Parents can text you back on the Remind app now.

    I'm not sure I like that feature.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I guess I just don't see it as usually necessary for a parent to get in touch with you outside your regular contract hours. I'm sure exceptions pop up, but I'm also certain there are ways to deal with those besides dropping your personal number as a matter of course.

    I think limiting parent's ability to contact you to the basics (school phone, school email, etc.) leaves them prudent in what they contact you about. Most parents will probably respect your phone, but there always seem to be a few who will run with that number and use it for every little thing.
     
  12. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Sep 19, 2015

    As my Small Learning Community Coordinator said to me a few years ago, "YOUR office closes at 3 p.m. daily. If a parent needs to contact you, they can call the main office between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays."

    ;)
     
  13. Moogeeg

    Moogeeg Companion

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    You are completely justified in keeping your cell phone number private! It always surprises me that people don't understand that they don't need to have access to you 24/7. There are very few issues between a parent and teacher that absolutely MUST be discussed after hours. In the end, you are also a person deserving of your personal time just like they are.
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Well, I didn't call or text her. I have been busy with my own children this weekend and completely forgot. So she IM on Facebook and friend requested me. Twenty minutes later her mother friend requested me! She is consistent. I just wish she would be so diligent about returning his permission forms I have sent home four times.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Only if you turn that feature on.
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Ha-ha!!!
    I never gave out cell number. I had a cousin in my class who had it & never gave it out!!
     
  17. TXforever

    TXforever Companion

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    No way. You were completly in the right.
     
  18. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Wow. She really wants that piece of information (or perhaps private access to you) something fierce.

    I would provide it Monday with nary a word about the cell number or Facebook.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This
     
  20. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    I've also deliberately never given out my personal cell phone number, as it's just that - personal - and I prefer to communicate via email or, if that's not cutting it, to schedule an in-person meeting. I think you're perfectly justified in not giving out your phone number. Having a parent call or text during your personal time seems like an inconvenience at best and a bit of a violation at worst.

    Just this past week, a parent asked another teacher for my phone number after school (I had already left, as I had an appointment that day), apparently saying he would like to talk to me about a couple of minor behavioral consequences his son (a 6th grader) had received in my class. She texted me to tell me she had given him my number and she hoped I didn't mind. At the time, I told her that was fine, as I'm sure her intentions were good and I didn't think it was worth creating any tension or hostility between us over the incident...but I'm not okay with it. So far I've heard nothing from the parent, but the parents of this new sixth grade class have a reputation for being overly involved, intrusive, and at times contentious. If my phone number starts being passed from this parent to other parents (and all of this without my consent beforehand!), I'm not really sure how I'll handle it, but I'm sure it won't be well. :(
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Tell your colleague the parent hasn't contacted you (and if s/he does I wouldn't respond. Delete and act as if you never saw it) and that you'd prefer your personal info not be shared by her again
     
  22. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    I do not give out any personal information.
    I also do not accept friend requests from parents on FB.

    Sounds like this parent is gutsy! :)
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My district actually requests that teachers NOT friend current parents on FB and to conduct communications either via school phone, in person, or on school email only.
     
  24. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    The mother and father are divorced. She wanted to know if his homework was in his reading folder because he had been at dad's house. Dad has been good about returning things and I told her that and said, "I am sure it is there." It was! She on the other hand is not always on top of it. Like I said, I have sent home the state form about language spoken in the home, free and reduced lunches, and an internet form that my school requires four times. The first time I handed it to her the first day of school when she brought in his supplies. The other parents filled it out at meet your teacher night, which she didn't come to. I left a copy on the child's seat at curriculum night...she didn't show. But she is all concerned about dad sending back a reading list and a name writing paper!?!
     
  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'd really play the neutral party. This makes me wonder if the mother isn't trying to play some sort of bizarre game with her ex.
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I never gave my number out to parents. They can either reach me by calling the school or through email. I also never accepted friend requests from parents on facebook.
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I don't give my cell phone number out. I no longer have a home phone/landline. They will have to deal with it.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'd block her and the mother on FB.

    I don't give out my number to students or parents. I used to give it to some back when I sponsored a club and we traveled. If I were to do that now, I would use a Google Voice number rather than my personal cell number.

    A lot of people in this day and age have a problem with boundaries. We are so accustomed to being connected with everyone and everything that it's hard for some people to recognize that it's appropriate to preserve some space between people sometimes.
     
  29. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    I second using Google voice. Saves lots of hassle, and is easy to block people if things become problematic.

    You should never have to give out your personal cell phone number. If I were in OP's situation, I may have flat out explained to her that I do not give out my personal number, and that she was free to contact me using the school phone number.
     
  30. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I like this. It makes it sound more like your policy (which is probably is) rather than anything personal.
     
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I don't give out my cell number, except to other teachers.

    To get around any awkwardness, I just tell parents, that I'm horrible at answering my phone or reading texts (which is honestly true), but I'm fantastic with email, so please use email to contact me.
     
  32. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    I think you were completely within your rights not to give out your number.

    With that being said, a lot of parents have my personal cell number. I just find it easier. But I have no problem ignoring phone calls or texts after hours if I just don't feel like dealing it. I also don't respond to emails after hours if I don't feel like dealing with them.
     
  33. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Your cell umber is exactly that YOUR number. You give it out to who you choose.

    I would never give out my cell number to a parents, heck I don't give it out to most of my colleagues!
     

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