Giving out personal numbers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My head teacher gives out her personal cell phone number each year and says she rarely has problems.

    So, is this a useful way to go about things or just asking for trouble?
     
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  3. desertholly8

    desertholly8 Rookie

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    I no longer give out my number because it only takes one parent to ruin it for all. I now use Classroom Dojo. I have the app on my phone and send my parents messages and photos without them ever seeing my number. I also log in from a school computer sometimes so it is accessible anywhere at any time.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My school email comes to my phone, so if parents email me, I see it right away.

    I have given out my cell phone number only on a couple of occasions. I had a student in crisis just before our Christmas Break and her friends, family and I were concerned about self-harm; I gave out my number to all concerned so that I could be reached over the holiday if need be. I also gave out my number to a few students during a field trip when we were going to be separated for a bit.
     
  5. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

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    Last year I worked in a unique community where families had little access to technology (no computer or Internet access at home) and because many of them worked the fields for long hours they could not easily contact me on my school phone. For this reason, the parents that were genuinely concerned about what happened to their kids were given my personal number. Despite the fact that I was happy to give them this number, none of them ever used it. So far it hasn't been an issue. This year I'm in a new school and I'll gauge the situation with kids and families to see what I do.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I give out my number to a single parent during field trips. That's it.
     
  7. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I would never give out a personal number to any child or parent. For school trips the school has bought a very cheap cell phone. If there is a circumstance where a parent or child may need a contact number then that one is given out. Otherwise they can contact the school and the school will contact a member of staff. I cannot see any circumstance where a parent or child would need my personal number.
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't give out numbers because I was called on my home phone (back when I had one) at midnight by a parent who called everyone in the phone book with my last name until she found me.

    We only have cell phones now so it's harder to find numbers, but I'm not giving crazy a leg up!
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nope, no cell phone numbers shared here. We have some crazy helicopter parents and all it takes is one parent to share with everyone else.

    I've had parents and even a tutor call me on my home phone before. Not a fun time.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I gave my number out at my first school but not my second school. It fit the culture of one school but not the other. However, I did give my number to a couple parents on a field trip for my second school. We had an unspoken agreement that it was only for the field trip (and, of course, I wouldn't have minded if they used it for another true emergency either).
     
  11. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    It is against board policy at our school to give out personal numbers. We can get in big trouble for doing that, even with field trips and sports unless you have documented permission. However, I took students on an oversees trip and was allowed to communicate with parents using my personal cellphone. I would see what the school/district policy is when it comes to giving out personal email/numbers and discuss this with your principal. I would never give it out without his/her permission.
     
  12. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I give out mine because I am sponsor of a club that does some overnight trips so the students need to be able to get me in an emergency and I am prom sponsor so they text me all the time asking it they can buy something because my rule is if I did not approve the purchase than I may not reimburse it. I have never had any trouble from a student. I did have trouble with one parent and my principal called her and told her that if she was going to be rude then she would have to relay all questions to me via the office and I never had any other trouble with her. I do not answer the phone after 9 pm unless it is my kids or mom or dad.
     
  13. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Quite a few students and parents have my personal cell phone number. I've never had a problem.

    If I get a call during non-school hours and I don't want to deal with it or answer it, I just don't.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Parents can easily reach me at the school number, email or class webpage. My personal number is available they the office for those seeking a tutor.
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Parents can contact me at the school number and through my webpage. My landline is listed in the phone book, but I don't answer unless it is someone I know and want to talk with. I don't return school-related messages if they leave them.

    We had to give out our cell number last winter when we did non-traditional instruction days. Kids had to be able to contact us by phone between noon and three on snow days. I did not answer after those hours, and after the snow days were over, I blocked all numbers from parents or kids.

    I was not happy about having to give out my number.
     
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I have in the past. This year I had a parent that would text me at 5 a.m. and then be mad when I did not answer. I did not give her my number, but she got it from someone else. I will guard my number this year.
     
  17. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Only a few, but last year I gave it to the wrong parent. Therefore, I will be more careful with my number this year as well.
     
  18. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I have before but I think that was a bad thing to do considering my parents are 18-26, young parents. I got a Google Voice phone number for free and it works pretty awesome. They call that number and it comes to my phone, but the best part is that it screens the calls first.
     
  19. SCTeacher23

    SCTeacher23 Comrade

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    At my last school, we were required to give it out. We were basically expected to take calls from parents throughout the evenings. I did have a few times where parents would call late or would call my cell phone multiple times during the school day (when I couldn't answer because I was teaching) for something that should have been directed to the main office anyway.
     
  20. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    This, exactly. I spend a lot of time on the computer, so I am comfortable with this, but my private number and cell number are not for students or parents. If the school wants me to answer a cell phone for school, they need to provide the phone and pay the bill. I will Google chat with parents, but since I pay for my phone service, there is not enough power from admin to make me share that. Too many other good alternatives. ;)
     
  21. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    No, I do not give out my personal numbers. I teach in a small town where most parents have access to teachers' home numbers through the phone book. Since I don't live in the town or have a landline, parents cannot contact me at home. Our secretary gave out my home phone number once and I was not happy to receive a call on summer holidays from a parent.

    I am available at school through the office number and I can also be contacted by e-mail. (Which I don't check in the evenings very often, but try to check throughout the school day). That seems to be enough for most parents.
     
  22. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I give it out in the welcome letter. Nobody's ever called. My kids seem far more interested. I have had the occasional text about schedule changes or whatever. They haven't abused the privilege at all. In fact, I think I contact them more than they contact me. I started blasting out homework via text this year. Much better return rate. If you can't beat them, join them, I guess!
     
  23. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I had mine written on the board for the entire year nearly every year I taught. I rarely had an issue. Like FourSquare said, I would get random texts or calls occassionally for things I thought were perfectly legitimate.

    The one time I did have a problem (a girl was suicidal and texting me all night long...) we dealt with it individually and with the counselor and administrator.
     
  24. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Heck, I teach in a small town. If someone really wants to get my number they can. This summer I have had three texts from parents of students I will have next school year. Plus two that contacted me on facebook.
     
  25. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Wow. I wouldn't have done it. My phone would have been mysteriously misplaced or out of order. So sorry. I can check my email.
     
  26. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    When I used to bring our kids to the US on trips I got the school to but a new sim card for my phone and put a bunch of credit on it. Then before we left the UK I swapped over the card and gave the new number to everyone who needed it.

    In the UK having personal contact with students is a no no! It could cost you your job! am happy for kids/parents to have my school email address as I am in control as to when I access it and whether I respond or not.
     
  27. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    That is a good idea about the phone. I'm not sure why we didn't do that with our exchange trips. It ended up being fine with my phone. No one abused it and the parents and students were always professional and reasonable with it. No student or parent contacted me on my phone after the trips. I needed it when the foreign students came to us too because I needed to be on call when they were with our students. I was reimbursed for all my minutes, texts, international plan fees, etc.

    I agree that you shouldn't be responsible for being "on call" outside of schools hours, unless you are personally responsible for students in some way (overnight trip). We are not required to check our email outside of school hours (although I do, many teachers don't) and if you have parents calling or texting you, you have the obligation to reply or answer right away. Email is perfectly fine now. People can check it just as often as a text as they can put it on their phone. It also protects against any liability giving away a phone number may cause. I understand that every school runs differently and has different expectations. At my school, it is a liability to give out your number, plus my school is big on written documentation through email. In fact, my administration prefers email contact versus school phone so there is documentation. Perhaps it's completely different at a HS vs ES level.
     
  28. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I have to very specific parents. I had a parent that couldn't answer the phone when she was in class, but could answer a text. As her daughter had asthma it was an easy way to get mom when we needed her.

    Otherwise, only on field trips.

    No parent has abused it.
     
  29. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I give my home number. I live in a tiny town (actually now a village because the population isn't enough to be a town). I have a unique last name for the area and I'm easily found in the phone book. I don't get lots of calls, but they usually are quick questions about something at school or giving me updates on their child. A few have my cell phone for specific purposes.mlast year I had a child who was a brittle diabetic. Her mom had my number so she could keep me updated when her daughter had problems. My cowogive their cell phones out to all. They text parents during the day. It's caused a few issues at school.
     
  30. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    I considered giving out my cell phone but when I started getting messages from a parent at all hours of the week on Class Dojo I decided against it. If a parent really needs to get in touch with me they can use my school email or send it through dojo (both connected to my cell phone), call the school, or come see me before/after school. I didn't have any problems with it last year.
     
  31. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I give mine out to my AVID kids and parents every year and haven't come close to having a problem.
     
  32. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My husband grew up in a tiny ranching community and his brother and his family still live there. The school hosts k-9 with currently four teachers, a few aides, and a couple of folk to run the office and cafeteria (this is big, they had a population boom). My SiL has hee oldest entering kindergarten and already knows the teacher from church, does her hair, and certainly has her number.
     
  33. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    You still have phone books? I haven't seen one of those over here for at least 10 years.
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    NEVER!
     
  35. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I thought they were gone and last week one got dropped off on my porch.
     
  36. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I still don't understand why a parent would need your phone number? They can contact the school if that have any queries.
     
  37. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Nope. I communicate with parents through Class Dojo and Remind.
     
  38. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I teach in a small town, at a school where the culture is to give out a personal number to parents. In eight years, I've only ever gotten occasional calls (as in, maybe 1 a month?).

    Sometimes, a parent wants to clarify homework, a project, or a concept. Other times, parents have called to let me know about a special situation, such as an injury needing accommodation. These are quick conversations that take only a few minutes, yet might be hard to have via e-mail (it's a lot harder sometimes to ask/answer questions going back and forth). Sure, have I sometimes gotten 'silly' phone calls that could have been taken care of with a quick note to me in the morning? Yes, but those are also fairly rare. For me, it's worth the trade off.

    We have very little time during the day without students, so I actually prefer a parent to call me directly in the evening. This way, the issue can be addressed immediately. If they call my school number and leave a message, many times I won't be able to answer them (let alone listen to it, at times) until after school. Now a whole day has gone by before I'm even aware of the question/issue...

    Of course, I realize this is not the case everywhere, so I'm not saying that every teacher should give out their number to every parent. But, it works for us. :)
     
  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I think it depends on the culture of the school. My friend worked in a small Catholic school so she would see the parents in church on sundays and had no problem giving them her number. In a large public school it might be an issue with parents abusing it.
     
  40. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Yeah, I think the general philosophy is just to give parents another way to reach you particularly if something is urgent outside of school hours.

    I don't think I'll go that route, at least not in my current situation. I'm in a large school (a charter that attracts helicopter parents as I learned last year) and I have a mid-year maternity leave and I don't think I need to be contacted above the sub doing the teaching.
     
  41. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Last year my teammate found that many parents that wouldn't communicate through phone calls would answer if she texted them. So she often texted parents about meetings from her phone. I have only given my personal number out to one parent, and it was when I was a classroom teacher. This parent was extremely "needy" (ironically, the kid was not that needy) and would call multiple times per week and go on and on, often taking up huge chunks of my plan time. I started texting with her instead because it forced her to get to the point. It actually worked out really well. She was happy and it was much faster for me. She only texted me late at night once, and although I did see the message I purposely waited until the next day when contract hours started to answer her. She got the hint.
     

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