Do you have a phone with voicemail in your classroom?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 19, 2013

    I only have a phone that can make local outside calls. It cannot accept outside calls and there's no voicemail, of course. My old classroom had a voicemail feature and also allowed parents to call my room. I missed that at first, but now I find it very peaceful to come in every morning and not see a flashing red light letting me know I have a VM or having the phone ring first thing in the morning with "Suzy doesn't have her homework today" calls from parents. Parents can either shoot me an email or leave a message with the office. I definitely got used to not having VM and I hope I never have one again ;)
     
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  3. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    That little red blinking light caused a sense of panic for me. I am so glad my new school doesn't have VM.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    No phone at all.
     
  5. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    I have a phone with VM, but I've told parents numerous times that it's a VERY tiny red light and it doesn't even flash...so unless I walk over and study my phone, I won't see it.

    I let them know email is the best way to get a hold of me...and since I pride myself on emailing them back within an hour, they love getting the quick response(s). :)

    But no...I would prefer NOT having voice mail as well. :)
     
  6. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    We have emergency phones to call the office connected to our PA system. Our school phone system has voicemail set up and we always get instructions on how to check vm at the beginning of the year, but I always put on my assignment sheet the first 6wks of school that I DO NOT check voicemail and the best way to reach me is to email or send a written note. Our office assistant will also take messages and put them in our box to take care of during our conference time.
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    My building has 7 phones in it- one in the P's office, AP's office, secretary's desk, attendance coordinator's desk, counselor's office, teacher's lounge and one in the office for student use. I had to hike all the way down the hall to get to a phone. Parents would usually hang up before I got there.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    My phone (and VM) was broken for a year. I told parents that I was not available by phone and it was heaven! This past year the blinking light didn't work correctly. I checked my VM on a whim the last day of the year and had 33 messages! Some from December! I had no idea that any had been left, I was just showing someone how to use the system. uh-oh.

    But it did prove to me that life can go on just fine without VM. I think as long as parents have other options and are made aware of those options, everything will be fine.
     
  9. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I have a phone that can accept outside calls, but it's only to receive personal calls. Parents are not allowed to call teachers directly (and we have no VM). They call the main office and leave a message (Office won't transfer their calls, even if we dont have a class) or just email.
     
  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't have a phone, but I have voicemail.
     
  11. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I have one, but parents know email is easier for me to get quickly.
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    We just got them in the middle of last school year. I only had parents call me a handful of times--most just e-mailed. We have ours set so any calls during the school day go to the secretary, so she can take care of any 'urgent' messages. It is nice to be able to return parent phone calls after school from the classroom, instead of having to stand in the office.

    The phones are much more useful for us to be able to communicate with the office. Instead of having to use the PA, it's much nicer to get the message without the entire class hearing. :)
     
  13. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    We have phones with voicemail, but I advise parents to email and most do.
     
  14. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    All of our classrooms have phones. If a voice mail is left a notification goes to the teacher's computer. I listen to my messages when I have the time. If a parent calls the office wishing to speak directly to me our secretaries will screen the call, call our room, and then I determine if I want to talk to the parent at that time. No blinking red lights.
     
  15. Proud2BATeacher

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    I have one with voicemail and wish it didn't. I don't have a light that tells me that there is a message (wish I did as I have to read the screen to see if I have a message). My phone is tucked in a corner in an area that I rarely use so I rarely look at my phone throughout the day. Sometimes I don't find VMs that were left in the morning until I look at the phone after school.
     
  16. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I have a classroom phone with my own number and voicemail. I can make outside calls too. I must admit that I dislike voicemail. Most phone calls I get are for student absences.
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have a phone with my own extension and voicemail. In the past 7 years, I think maybe one parent has left me a voicemail. Most just email or set up a conference through the main office.

    Our phone system automatically denies outside calls to classrooms during the instructional day. You can't even call room-to-room unless you're calling from the main office. This is true building-wide, except in the portables (where I am). Out in the portables we can call each other during the day. It's very handy to call between classes when you need to borrow something or want to make arrangements to meet in the library on your next shared prep period.
     
  18. Mr D

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    Like many others, I tell parents that email is the best way to reach me.

    We have phones in our rooms that have voicemail capability, but that has not been set up in any of the classrooms. I don't know if there are any plans to eventually set it up, but I am okay without it. Parents call the office and leave a message or email teachers.

    I did have voicemail at both of my previous schools but I did not get messages very often, so even then, it wasn't really necessary.
     
  19. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I do have a phone, but parents have to call the office first in order to be connected to my classroom phone (the office won't connect them to my classroom phone unless it's before school, during lunch, or after school). If I'm not in the room, parents can leave a voicemail.

    I can make outside calls, too, which I often do when I need to reach a parent.
     
  20. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    No phone, no voicemail. Even my intercom is broken.
     
  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Phone with my own extension. Outside calls do not ring into the room--they go straight to voicemail.
     
  22. Mrs.Giggles

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    I will have a phone with voicemail in my classroom. The secretary told me that calls will just go straight to my voicemail, so it will not interrupt the class.

    I noticed that many of you were saying that you tell parents that you prefer email which I'd prefer as well. However, as a teacher who will be teaching in a Title 1 school with 90% of students eligible for the Free and Reduced Lunch program, should I still encourage parents to contact me primarily through email? I just worry that many of my families will not have access to email. Maybe I'm just worrying too much...

    (These are the crazy thoughts that race through my mind as a first year teacher...)
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, a phone and voicemail.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, still encourage email. :)

    That doesn't mean you won't accept calls...just that you're letting parents know email is fast and convenient for you.
     
  25. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    No phones except in classrooms that have danger zones (e.g. chemistry lab, welding lab) or are off campus from the main building.
     
  26. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Yes... it's called my iPhone. Seriously.
     
  27. 2ndTimeAround

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    Yes, encourage emails. I have some students in the same SES as you do. Most are not, but I've had enough of the poorer students over the years to say with confidence that very few of your parents will not have access to email. They may not have access during the day, or make it a habit to check every day. But they will have it. I think that I've had maybe six students whose parent(s) did not have email available. I'll gladly make/receive phone calls for those one or two students I have each semester.
     
  28. Mrs.Giggles

    Mrs.Giggles Companion

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    Thank you! I always just worry that I will offend or make some parents mad. I know that it's a silly worry, and that parents will sometimes not be happy with me. I will then definitely state that the best way to reach me is through email.
     
  29. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We have nice new phones with voicemail. They also tell us when we have missed calls and who called us, as well as who's calling. It's actually really creepy - when a cellphone calls me it shows the name of who's calling.

    I wish parents had to go through the office first to call me, but they have the direct extension to my room.
     
  30. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Get some electrical tape and the blinking red light goes away.
     
  31. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Yup, phone and voicemail. Outside calls will ring through on planning periods and right after school. During class, outside calls go straight to voicemail.

    I also prefer email.
     
  32. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I have a phone, an extension number to my room, and voicemail. I can call off campus, but not long distance. Parents call all the time during the school day and you can't mute or ignore calls-I just have to let it ring if I don't want to answer. They don't seem to understand that I can't really talk when I have a class in the room, especially when I only have them for 30-45 minutes!
     
  33. MzMooreTeaches

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    The school that I was at for 3 years did not have a phone in the room. At first I thought it was the worst thing ever. But I find it quite peaceful that my phone will not ring at random times throughout the day. There were several phones throughout the building that you would have to hike too... but I found the office did a great job at screening calls and only allowing emergency phone calls to interrupt the school day.

    Now my new school will have a phone and I believe voicemail as well. I'm just going to inform parents that the best way to contact me is via note, email and in emergencies by phone. Hopefully the phone in the room won't cause any issues.
     
  34. 2ndTimeAround

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    A flip side to this is that some parents probably assume that when they call they will be leaving a voice mail and not actually get to speak with the teacher at the time.
     
  35. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Yes, I have voice mail. We are required to check it once a day. The secretary is so bad about forwarding calls to the classroom when I am teaching. It's so annoying. If you don't answer, she will page the room and scream, "Mrs. ______....Mrs. ______....Mrs. _____!"

    I have the same kids for 4 years, so you can imagine the sort of phone calls I get. Our dog died. We're moving again. I don't have lunch money to give my child. We're going to the beach, so I am checking ____ out early 5 weeks from now. I bought _____ a new phone, and he broke it already. My grandma is trying to get custody of the kids. Do you see this behavior, or that behavior? _______ is picking on my kid again. etc, etc, etc.....

    I'm glad that the parents seem to trust me, but nobody has time to talk to you on the phone for 8 hours.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    No doubt this is sometimes true...but when they call three times in a day probably not. :|
     
  37. Roobunny

    Roobunny Comrade

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    I have a phone, but no VM which I am really happy about. I have a hearing loss and being on the phone can cause me a bit of a panic attack.

    I do MUCH better with email.
     
  38. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    Often times these parents are just a likely to not have a working phone. I let parents know that they can email (strongly suggested), leave a me message in the office with a call back number, or write a written note. A lot of parents still write notes.
     
  39. MzMooreTeaches

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    I'm glad that the parents seem to trust me, but nobody has time to talk to you on the phone for 8 hours

    Ditto! I established great relationships with my parents the last couple of years... I keep my students for two years (prior to me transferring to a traditional school). And my parents would inform me of all kinds of information. Some of my conferences turned into a counseling session. I truly loved all my parents and I'm going to miss them.....! As I begin to feel a lil sad about transferring to a new school and leaving all my old students behind.
     
  40. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    My blinking yellow light doesn't always blink when I have a VM. Sometimes I would get a message weeks after it was left by a parent.

    I always have a little sense of panic when I see the yellow light blinking. The best is when parents call my room directly during the school day, even though I tell them not to. Oh, and I get telemarketers in the middle of the school day.
     
  41. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Classroom? What's that?

    If they ever give me a classroom, instead of having me float from room-to-room-to-room, then I'll work on the phone part.


    :lol:
     

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