giving email address to parents

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by ms.jansen, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Sep 10, 2006

    As a first year teacher, I was very surprised to find out that our school email addresses are not available to parents. If they want to contact us, they are to call and leave a message, and we are to check voicemail and return all calls at 3:30pm every day. I am really concerned that my communication with parents will not be as good as it should be without email. Here is my reasoning for why I think this is a horribly outdated policy:

    1) The types of parents we have are business people who often travel. I don't think it is easy for them to make time to call us during the day, and even less easy for them to be free at 3:30pm for me to call them back.

    2) Email documents everything for you. Phone calls don't.

    3) Another new teacher and I asked if we could give ours out because we feel it would aide our communication with parents. We were told no because if we did it, then all the teachers would have to do it or the parents would complain about the ones not available. Doesn't this sound like laziness on the part of the teachers/admin who have been there before us? We also do not have class websites and were told not to create one (on Scholastic or the like) for the same reason.

    Am I crazy, or is this common practice? And do you think I should go ahead and give mine out anyway? Or give them a personal email address that I only use for teacher stuff anyway? Thanks! :)
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Who did you ask? Was it another teacher or the admin? If it was another teacher it's because THEY don't want to be bothered with it. If it wa admin I'm a little shocked that they wouldn't want to take advantage of the technology you have available to keep the lines of communication open between home and school. My son's school has a great website with all teachers' emails listed. Many of them also have active website where students can check homework/upcoming events/ tests/ related links. My district also has a website where teachers are EXPECTED to keep their pages updated. Parents are able to access the website, teacher sites and email....Give them the email you use for 'teacher stuff' if it's a school policy to not give teacher emails......:eek:
     
  4. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    Definately give out an email address that you feel comfortable sharing. It shocks me your school district is being this restrictive. As a teacher and a parent, I find email the best form of communication for all.
     
  5. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I give the parents both my home email address and my school email address. I told them it is much easier and quicker to get a hold of me through email than through the voicemail at school...because I always forget to check it. I am always on the computer so email is the best route for me. It seems with technology the way it is now and how we are to integrate it into our curriculum that the district would want you to use your email for parent communication.
     
  6. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    WOW! Thats crazy! We are supposed to have our e-mail addresses available to our parents.(Our superintendent encourages it!) I include mine everyweek at the top of our class newsletter. I also had a space on our emergency cards for parents to list their e-mail addresses. I would much rather e-mail a parent than make a phone call. Its faster, easier and I'm able to print out the e-mails and keep them in the student's folders for documentation! I can't imagine a school district not allowing parents to have e-mail addresses, aren't they posted on your school website??
     
  7. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Thank you for all the affirmation that I'm not the crazy one! :)

    It was admin who I asked. I honestly do not understand why this is what they want. We have a school website, but our email addresses are not on it - nor are those of the admin. Maybe it is they who don't want to be bothered. I've *heard* we are going to start having classroom websites but only certain grades will try it out first and see if parents use it. (Duh, they are probably waiting for it since all their nieces' and nephews' schools already have it!)

    I think I am going to give my personal address to my students this week and tell them to give it to their parents if they ever need to contact me. I will also give it to the parents who call of course.

    Thanks again for the advice - any and all is always welcomed!
     
  8. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Beginning this year, not only are our email addresses available for parents, but "read-only" copies of our gradebooks in the new online grading/attendance program are also accessible for review! I believe each parent is only able to access their own child's grades.......but, needless to say, there is definite underground mumbling among the ranks here.
     
  9. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Ooh, I'm not sure I'm ready to go THAT far yet! It's becoming more and more common though... Kids these days are never going to learn to be responsible for themselves because their parents will always be sticking up for them and whining about their grades more than the kids do... Good luck with that.
     
  10. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Thanks.......it will definitely be interesting to see how it develops. The other side of the coin, though, is that it eliminates a parent's excuse (at reportcard/parent conference time) that they didn't know their child was doing so poorly.
     
  11. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    This is surprising since we live in a very TECHONOLOGY WORLD with computers, laptops, blackberries, etc. In fact we have a school website and have to use Schoolnotes to post our homework daily or weekly. The website also has a link to our school email addresses and I always tell the parents to use email because we are encouraged to check our emails in the morning and at the end of the day.

    Very surprise to hear that from an administrator...
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Email is so much easier! Getting to a phone--or an open line--during the school day is terrible. Many of our parents don't have access to email, so we have to use other forms of communication. However, I love it when they email me.

    All of our email addresses are available on the district/school web site. I also give students my "school-related" email for home. It's a secondary account through my ISP. I do NOT take phone calls at home, but I do answer emails.
     
  13. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Sep 10, 2006

    We're required to give out our email addresses and I do so in every newsletter, and also at back to school night. Very few parents use it, however. There's always the one who emails me daily, but really, I get few emails. My parents tend to write notes to me and stick them in the child's folder.
    Kim
     
  14. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    I should also say that I ONLY give out my "official" school email address.....NOT my personal one.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Ours ONLY want us to use school emails (and cc EVERYTHING to principal for protection purposes) and leave a message with school phone (we don't have them in classrooms). The teachers used to use their personal email and phone. Now it is said anything there is not considered legal and binding.
     
  16. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Yes, I would just go ahead and give out my work email. Or maybe you can get a personal email just for teaching (I had miss[lastname]@yahoo back when I was unmarried) and if possible forward it to your work email (thus getting around the taboo against "giving out" your work email). But email is definitely less hassle for you and the parents. We are required to have websites at my school and post our assignments on it, although some teachers try to get around that by getting a website that just says "Check chalkboard for daily assignments." But I really use mine a lot. I even had a future student email me this summer thanking me for putting her at ease with all the information posted on my website.
     
  17. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Thanks for the ideas everyone. I just remembered an interesting tidbit which would only complicate things a little bit: all email websites (and most other websites actually) are blocked on our school internet (yahoo, hotmail, etc.). There are NO exceptions to this policy - they beat that into our heads already. In fact, AtoZ is blocked! (I don't know how I'm supposed to do lesson planning without access to the great ideas on so many teacher websites!)

    Even if I have to do my correspondence at home, I still think it's worth it just to have the communication with parents! I'm going to start working on some HTML for a website too, just in case we get that privilege sometime this year! Thanks again everyone!
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Some schools might be afraid of too much documentation, but I'm learning that using your home email/phone may open yourself up to a liability issue legally if it should ever come up. Just an FYI. It of course varies everywhere.
     
  19. TeacherRW

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    Sep 10, 2006

    If you are in a public school setting, I believe that parents do have the right to your email address. We have been encouraged to give out our email addresses. And, we've been reminded time & time again that all correspondence via email is open for public viewing.

    If you feel comfortable giving out a personal email address, I would go ahead and do so.
     
  20. TeachWildThings

    TeachWildThings Comrade

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    What about schoolnotes.com? You can post assignments there & parents can check up on them. Parents can email through it, but they don't "see" the teacher address unless you reply. Also, it automatically sends a copy of the message to parent so they have a record as well. I, as others have stated above, think this is somewhat silly and quite behind. I would think parents would as well.
     
  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I am in charge of our school's website. Parish (county) policy states that all teachers' and all administrators' email addresses are posted for parents. Very few use them (very few teachers use them) but they are there.
     
  22. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Ours quit LISTING teacher emails last year due to spam issues, but they show up as a link. I gave mine out beginning of the year and said they're welcome to call or email, whichever is easier for them, but told them that my preferred method is email. I told them I always check it before school, during my lunch break whenever possible, and after school. I'm one of those people who absolutely HATES calling people on the phone (I'm fine if they call me!), and I feel I express myself much better in writing. My kids (PreK SPED) also had a communication notebook, which worked for some of my parents. :)
     
  23. cactusfive

    cactusfive Rookie

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    I occasionally email parents but I prefer to call. I had several parents last year who would email several times a day. It drove me nuts! My administration is not crazy about emailing either although they let us decide how to communicate. Emailing is hard to do sometimes because you can't set a proper tone, I have often misinterpreted emails and parents have misinterpreted mine. Also, parents can forward emails to other parents leaving you in a sticky situation-this has happened in the past to a colleague of mine.
     
  24. Ms. K

    Ms. K Rookie

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    Our email addresses are on our website. Also last year the admin sent out a newsletter with our emails and phone numbers with extensions. The teaching staff was unhappy about sending out our extensions because a lot of our parents would call during the school day and not understand that we were not available to talk - because we were teaching! This year in our student handbook the parents had the opportunity to sign a spot where they would receive progress reports from the teacher on their student through email. I haven't heard anything negative yet...
     
  25. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I give out my school address, never my personal e-mail. Since I can access both anywher it works well.
     

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