Long distance phone calls

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Curiouscat, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2011

    In my system, we are not allowed to make a long distance phone call without going through a pain in the butt process. We have to go to the office with the name and number written down on a separate piece of paper. The secretary must make the call because she has to use a special code. Once she has the person you are calling on the line you have to go in the clinic and wait for her to transfer the call.

    I have a few issues with this. One, shouldn't I be trusted as a professional to make long distance calls to parents? Two, I think it is unfair to make us sit in the clinic to talk to parents. There are usually children in there that are ill and listening to every word you say! Third, if the parent can't come to the phone then you can't leave a message or anything. You have to come back to the office later and try again.

    Is it like this in other schools? What about in the business world?

    I know some are going to say they use their cell phones in situations like this, but my cell phone does not work inside my school. I have to go outside to call or text:(
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Sep 9, 2011

    The office phones are the only ones that we can use for long distance calls too and the secretary dials for us, but then hands us the phone. It's a major pain because then we're stuck standing next to the secretary's desk for the entire phone call and this happens a lot because we're in MA right over the RI border and get lots of RI cell phone numbers for parents. I have a hard time with cell service in my school too, but I usually try to find a spot where I get service and make the call from my cell, even if that sometimes means I'm making the call from my car.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Same. And it's stupid. And just another little thing that insults the profession. And just another reason I use my own personal resources...I'll just make the call from my cell phone a use my minutes. Blah.
     
  5. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Sep 10, 2011

    Huh... I don't know if I can make LD calls from the office. I know they don't go through on my room phone. Which is a PAIN - depending which town your carrier goes through, any cell phone can be long distance. My cell phone is considered long distance at my school! (I know, because I couldn't find it one day and tried to call myself).

    Ugh... I, too, make the LD calls from my cell.
     
  6. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    That's pretty much how I have to make ALL phone calls since I don't have a phone in my room. I desperately try to reach parents via email first.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    We can't make outside calls from our classrooms either. If we want to make a long distance call we can go into one of 2 different offices. We usually have to have a secretary punch in a code for us. Then, we have to log the call on a clipboard. It's not too bad but it is annoying when you don't have a lot of extra time on your hands.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2011

    We don't have that process in my school, but I'm sure this has to do with how the school budget is managed. I think I'd be less motivated to make phone calls....:huh: a way to deal with this might be to leave a message at the family's home number instead of going thru the long distance process.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 10, 2011

    We are able to make long distance calls from our classroom phones. We are asked to keep track of them, however, in case we are ever asked about them.
     
  10. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2011

    We don't even have phones in our classrooms, so I have no idea what the process would be. If someone receives a phone call the secretary makes an announcement over the intercom for that person to come to the office.
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Sep 10, 2011

    At my old school we had each had a code for long distance calls. (Which we all usually forgot, so they kept a school-wide code at the office.) You had to enter it for the call to go through. They asked that we log any long distance calls just to verify on the bill. We have free long distance at my new school, no limitations at all.
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Sep 10, 2011

    We have a phone in the lounge that we can use, long distance or not. No process to speak of except dialing out on a certain line.
     
  13. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    It is the same here. I am finding it harder and harder to contact parents because they only have cell phones and they have ones I guess they have moved with. You have to dial a long distance area code. Supposedly, we don't get charged long distance but the phone system doesn't know that so blocks me from calling them. There were 3 in one class I had to use my own cell phone for, and I don't like parents having that number.
     
  14. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 10, 2011

    The policy your school has is stupid. Somebody probably ruined it for the whole bunch by making personal long-distance calls and running up the bill :(

    I would personally keep the conversations short and sweet-- you should NOT be discussing another child in front of children. Ask the parent when they could possibly call you back to discuss the topic (to your classroom phone) or if you can't get in touch with them send an e-mail asking that they call you or come in to speak to you.

    Side tip-- when something like this makes no sense and prevents you from doing your job, I would let the parents know what is going on. The tech dept at my school was being really slow with setting something up for me to use as a resource for the parents and I gave up on the tech dept doing the task. Instead I told parents when they asked about it what was going on-- very innocently and not trying to put the blame on the tech dept, just letting them know that the tech dept has to do it. Enough parents started e-mailing and calling the dept and they completed it right away. Something similar might help you too.
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 10, 2011

    We got a new phone system last year. The office phones are set up to automatically allow long-distance calls.

    If we want to make calls, we just have to have an assigned code. I don't have one because I really don't make long-distance calls. We can call from any phone in the building with that.

    In our old building, long-distance calls were a pain in the butt. We had to go to one of the only FIVE phones in the building--all were in the tiny office, too--and log the phone call in a folder. Plus, there was no privacy for calls either.

    At home I have flat-rate long distance for $24.99 a month. I'm not sure why there isn't something similar for businesses.
     
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 10, 2011

    I think that anyone who has to modify the way they do their job in order to contact parents has a major issue with their district and unions are remiss if they do not address it.

    Every teacher DESERVES the infrastructure needed to do their job. MAKING PHONE CALLS IS PART OF YOUR JOB!!!

    We are not talking about giving teachers the ability to make coast to coast or international calls. I could be wrong, but if a phone can be programmed to not make any calls outside the area code, then it could also be programmed to make calls only to certain area codes. Most of us are talking about making calls to the next area code a few miles away. These are not long distance calls but rather local toll calls.

    My school is less than 10 bird miles from my house. It's in the same county. But the area code is different, so I cannot call my house from work unless I go to the office. Fortunately, I seldom get work or home numbers that are not local.

    A teacher should not have to use their personal cell phone to make a work-related call FROM THE SCHOOL TO A PARENT OF A CHILD AT THAT SCHOOL!!! Period.

    I'm sorry, but making work-arounds and accommodations for this problem is not acceptable. Tell your admins that whenever you need to use the office phone to call a parent, you will use the office phone, but unless they clear the room of all personnel, including secretaries, every time, that they are running risk of a FERPA violation and resulting lawsuit. Tell them that when you pick up the phone to call a parent, you cannot predict what you will discuss. Sure, you might make the call for the purpose of telling the parent that Johnny forgot his lunchbox, but if the subject changes to his IEP modifications or grade on the last test, you really can't control that. They just better clear the room every time you need to make a call.

    I'm sorry, this whole topic makes me mad.
     

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