Do you give phone numbers out?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by mrachelle87, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Oct 22, 2015

    I teach in a small town. Last year, I had a mother that would text me at five in the morning. I never gave her my phone number, but another person did. I had parents that texted me all through out the day. So this year I decided not to give out my cell phone number. I have a mother that came in on curriculum night and demanded my cell phone number. I told her I would text her later. I never did. Last week we did parent-teacher conferences. She did not show up. I called her on my cell, but I blocked the number. During the conversation she said twice that "I need your cell number." I kept ignoring her and didn't give it to her. Today she sent a note that stated "I need your cell phone number. I only text, so I have to have it."

    I don't feel I should give it to her. I do have one mom in the class that has it because I had her older daughter a few years ago. I have asked her not to share it with others. Am I wrong for not giving out my number to parents? I give my email to my parents. I check emails two or three times a day. I feel that is enough. Do you agree?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 22, 2015

    You're not wrong for not giving out your number. I wouldn't do it.
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 22, 2015

    I've never given out my personal #s & don't ever plan to. I recently found out about & currently use www.TextNow.com because you can text back & forth & they can call you & leave a voice message, but it's a phone # assigned to you that you just log in online to see & hear messages.
     
  5. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Oct 23, 2015

    I would never give out a personal number to a parent or child. If we take out a field trip and there may be a need to contact a parent then the school has a cell phone which we take with us should this need arise.
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 23, 2015

    Set up something like google voice - then you can text and make calls from a computer - and it works with most phones to mask your number behind another number.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 23, 2015

    Don't give your number out. What makes this parent so special that she doesn't have to follow school email protocol?
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 23, 2015

    My drama club kids and parents have my phone number. Other parents have my school number. I also use the Remind app that lets them text back.
     
  9. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Oct 23, 2015

    Well, last night after I posted this post, she messaged me on Facebook once again wanting my phone number. Now she is to the point where she tells me to give it to her...she doesn't ask for it. She also requested me a few times on facebook, but I have declined. After last night, I blocked her. I feel that she is too demanding and makes me uncomfortable. I know what the problem is...she is one of those parents that changes her child's way home last minute everyday. She calls the office after the 1:30 deadline and they have gotten rude with her. She does it three or four times a week. Yesterday she called at 2:20. The secretary got upset with her. We start dismissing at 2:40 and that time of day is awful in the office. So she wants my number because she doesn't want to deal with the office.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 23, 2015

    I think you did the right thing in blocking her on FB. Her behavior is out of control and is starting to look like harassment. If you haven't done so already, notify your admin in writing about what has been going on. I also recommend being very direct with the parent: "No, I'm afraid that's not possible. I do not give my personal phone number out." Perhaps you can get your admin to back you up on something like "...My administration has directed that teachers are not permitted to share our personal phone numbers."
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Oct 23, 2015

    This is completely out of control. Your administrators need to get involved--you should not have to deal with this on your own.
     
  12. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Oct 23, 2015

    That's crazy. She only texts?! What kind of person doesn't know how to talk on the phone? It can't be a phobia; she sounds too demanding. I would never give out my cell phone number.
    When former parents want to keep in touch, I give them my email or facebook, but I never accept requests from current parents! And never ever my cell phone
     
  13. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    No way! I have never given out my personal phone numbers or email. They can call the school, email my school address, or put a note in their child's folder. Heck, they can fax the school if thy want to! Also, I am not friends with any parents on social media. I do not post anything "bad" on there, but I just feel like it crossed a border.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that this is a good idea, but I wonder if there could potentially be some negative aspects. If you make something like your personal number or a Google Voice number available to students and/or parents, are you obligated to check it in a timely manner, particularly if you require that people contact you via this method? What happens if you don't check it for a period of time, even during the school day, and a student contacts you with sensitive information, maybe like a suicidal threat or information about abuse or who knows what? Are you on the hook for that? With a school email account, it's generally required that teachers check it at least once per day, so there's a built-in safety net there. But if you're using some outside source for contact, I'm just not sure how things work.
     
  15. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Today the little boy came to school upset because he wasn't sure how to go home. I told him it was bus unless I heard different. When I sent him to bus line, he was crying. I told him that he need to go to bus and if she showed up at parent pickup I would get him out of line. She has the child so confused. He doesn't have a schedule and it is upsetting to him. She told me he cries every time he drives him to school. When I mentioned it to grandma, she looked at me like I was crazy. Once he is at school, he is fine. Mom has a new baby and new husband. The little boy feels left out. He cries about once or twice a week telling me he misses his mom. Most days grandma comes and gets him or he rides a bus to her house. Then mom leaves him there when she picks up the baby. His dad has him every other weekend and every Wednesday night. Dad comes to lunch most Thursdays and he is so excited to have lunch with dad. I have seen dad so many more times than mom. In fact, I have only seen mom once.
     
  16. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 24, 2015

    Could just tell the parents that email is the best way to reach you, as you do not check your phone very often. Just give the number to parents who request it - don't give it to students.

    You can have it forward right to the cell phone - you can also set a 'Do Not Disturb' time - where it automatically sends things to google's voicemail.
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Oct 24, 2015

    I don't give my phone number to parents who request it. I give them my school email, school website, school voice mail number, and Remind app information. That's enough. The school does not pay my cell phone bill so I don't feel obligated to give out my number.

    I feel so strongly about this that I would cancel my phone service altogether if it was demanded by admin that I give my personal phone number to anyone who wants it. Then I'd start looking for a new school.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 24, 2015

    Def. don't give out your number to someone this demanding and annoying, I would never give my number out to anyone anyways.
    If you get a gmail account, you can get a whole different phone number through google voice. You can call, receive calls, text and get texts, and you can do that from computer as well. For example you can send out the same message to 5 different parents at the time, such as "your child did great today", or don't forget the permission slips" etc. You also have a record of all the communication.
    And most importantly, you can turn it off at any time, so you will still get the texts, voice mail, etc, you just won't be bothered.
    This parent wouldn't even know that it's not your personal number, you can get one with the same area code.
     
  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 25, 2015

    That is why I was suggesting google voice - you use a phone number that is not the one associated with your account - you pick one google offers in an area code of your choice.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The OP is right in not using her personal phone for work reasons. At this point a professionally brief email from school or phone call stating that is best. Fill the P in on what's been going on and CC him/her on any further communications with this demanding teacher.
    Yes, there are a variety of apps and technology tools for masking the OP's number, but it would just be reinforcing the parent's bad behavior. Handle school communications from school on school phones and school email. Period.
     
  21. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I would still be using my personal phone to make these calls. I already have a voicemail account at school. Why couldn't the parent use that?
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The parent should be directed to your school account with the caveat that calling the main office might be best for urgent messages as you won't be checking school voice mail until free periods.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  23. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    That's what we do. Having my personal phone number wouldn't do a parent any good since I keep my phone put up during school hours. Our voicemail messages are delivered by email.
     
  24. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I give my home number. (Yes, I still have one, very sketchy cell coverage at my house.) It's on my beginning of the year letter. A quick Google search would give it to them anyway. I've had very few call at my home over the years. Usually it's to check about an upcoming test or due date for a project. I've given my cell to a few trusted parents with no issues. I use the Remind app this year and parents can contact me through it very easily. I say do what you're comfortable with and what your school agrees with. I'm ok with an occasional phone call at my home. For many parents that's their only time they can reach me. But then, I'm also fine meeting a parent when I get to school at 6:30 or staying late to meet with them. Not all are.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My number is fairly public as I tutor many local students. Given that, if a patent was being as obnoxious as described, I'd unfriend, ignore and send an email/voicemail outlining what conditions my interactions with her would be.
     
  27. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 27, 2015

    When I was at a school that required us to give out our home numbers (yeah, that was before cell phones), a parent called me once at 11:00 PM. I quit giving it out except in rare cases ( a chronically sick student, etc.) after that! Your school number should be sufficient for parents.
     

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