Phone in classroom

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by mom2sands, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2011

    How many of you have phones in your room or immediate access to call parents?

    I don't, but I've taken students to a phone and called parents in the middle of class if their behavior is off the charts--if I have someone to cover for me.

    I am not allowed to use a cell phone at school. Calling parents immediately would nip the behaviors in the bud. Would it be wrong to have a "phone" in the classroom? I have a broken cordless one from home that I think might be a useful visual tool. :D Any thoughts?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 28, 2011

    I think you should be able to manage behaviors on your own, in your classroom, without disrupting instruction to call home.:2cents: as a parent, I would not be happy that a teacher didn't have enough strategies to deal with behaviors and was addressing behavior issues in such a public way that every child in the room knew exactly what was going on..As far as outrageous, harmful and blatantly disrespectful behaviors? Yes, call...on your prep time...without kids present.
     
  4. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Agreed. If a situation arises in which I need to call a parent, I do what I can to keep the behaviors in control until a recess or other more convenient time to call a parent without disrupting instruction. I realize it might correct the behaviors quickly by doing these phone calls, but I think there are more effective management systems out there to try first.
     
  5. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Another problem with phones in the classroom is if the secretary doesn't want to deal with it you end up with calls from parents at bad times.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    ETA: Just saw this was for kindergarten students. I am coming from a sixth grade perspective.

    My school doesn't use the phones properly...meaning they use them to disrupt intruction frequently. They've even patched through SALES calls while I was teaching.

    As far as using them to contact parents during class, I certainly have. But my students make the call and begin with "Mrs. JustMe is teaching a lesson on fragments, but I needed to call and tell you..."

    You have to be creative and work with the individual student. Having a student call home to tell his parent about his horrible behavior choice could be very effective (an ineffective for others). They can easily talk in the hall so privacy really isn't a concern. Would I have Tim call home to inform Mother he threw a pencil across the room? Of course not. If I knew Bella's mother is abusive would I have her call during class to share she just drew on the bathroom walls? Nope. But I'm a professional with a pretty good ability to judge when it's appropriate and likely to be effective or not, and it's most certainly not a commonly used approach to behavior management. Haven't used it all year, I don't believe. But it's an option.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 29, 2011

    Nope, no phones.

    The only time I've ever needed one was over the summer. I was teaching an SAT prep class in a church basement, not a regular classroom. One of the kids passed out and pretty much would NOT revive. We got his cell phone, and called his mom. (Had we not gotten through, the next call was going to be 911.)

    In a typical classroom though? I've never needed one. I can't imagine the situation where calling a parent from class would be my best option.

    I think that calling parents sends the wrong message to kids-- that the parents are the ones with the authority, not the classroom teacher. If it were ever a good solution, I would think the purpose of the call should be to set up a conference with parents, teacher and kid to work out a solution. That way, the kid gets the idea that you're still involved in the behavior issue, not passing it off to the parents.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Every room has a phone. I could count on one hand the number of times I've ever called parents during class time. None of those times have been for immediate discipline issues.
     
  9. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Oh the memories! One year I had two girls who were just awful! They were completely out of control. We (myself, the principal, other staff, etc.) tried so many things, but these two were just beyond belief. After about a week I told them that if they continued with the behavior that they would have to call their parents immediately and explain their behavior. A this point I was grasping for straws. Of course, they continued, and we headed for the phone. They sobbed and carried on like you wouldn't believe. The rest of the class thought it was great because they were sick of the foolishness.
    I don't know what the parents said, but the change in behavior was immediate! They still had their moments throughout the year, but I only had to suggest making a phone call to get them under control. Happy to say, I have not encountered two students like that again:)
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We do not have phones in our classrooms. However, we keep pushing to get them. Not so much to be able to call home when students are present, but if there is a need to call the office (with some privacy from students) or call a parent during planning time.
     
  11. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Nope no phones either and I agree with everything czacza said. Also most of my kids have parents who pick them up from school and I speak to them right after school.
     
  12. bondo

    bondo Cohort

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    No phones, and I have never had to call parents in class. I would simply wait until there were no students around. In case of emergencies I keep my cell phone with me, in case some thing like what aliceacc described occured.
     
  13. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I'm shocked that this isn't universal these days. I think it should be a huge safety issue if you don't. Our union actually became involved back when we didn't.

    In 18 years, I've never had anybody to cover for me. I might be inclined to think there would be a better option that would not interrupt instruction.

    :eek::confused::eek::confused::eek:

    Why? I REALLY, REALLY, want to know.


    First of all, I've used this method before when I need to "go nuclear" with a student. I've had mixed results. It does cause you to have to stop teaching. When that happens, you often make a hero out of the culprit, depending on the nature of the class.

    Second, I think having a fake phone is a bad idea. I think the kids probably know there are no phones in the rooms and unless they are very young, they know a cordless phone would not work.

    As I said, why are you not allowed to use cell phones at work? That is insane, if you ask me. What is the consequence if you do? If it's nothing more than a slap on the wrist and "don't do that again," just do it and beg forgiveness if you get caught.

    My guess is that the kids know that teachers at your school have their hands tied - i.e. can't call parents that easily and have come to realize that their actions often come witout consequence.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    To clarify, I have NEVER had a student call for an immediate behavior concern. It's been more along the lines of "Mom, help me remember to (fill in the blank) tonight because I'm one strike away from a detention" or what have you. It's obviously an "I'm on the edge" call, but not along the lines of "Mom, I just threw a pencil across the room". I've also had students call home when they haven't returned their (office required) signed report cards within a few days. I've actually even written a script for them. I am certainly not calling twenty parents and the OneCall message home didn't do the trick, and neither did a reminder in the agenda and so on.
     
  15. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Dec 2, 2011

    As a parent if you called me during the day with the children all present in the classroom I would be seriously upset. I think you need to rethink your actions here. You teach kindergarten!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Go nuclear? Really?

    No phones in your room would be a union issue?:eek::wow:

    We have intercom buttons to reach the office in an emergency. I had some blood drops on my floor from a nose bleeder yesterday and called the office so they could alert custodians for a blood clean up...that's about as 'emergency' as I get. If I needed more help, my colleagues are right next door and the office a beep away. Parent phone calls can wait for my prep period.
     
  17. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Dec 2, 2011

    I can see both sides of the coin here.

    Have I ever had a phone in the classroom "No"? Have I needed one "At times yes"?

    I have worked at a school that was made up of one permanent building, the lunchroom and office. The rest of the school (individual classrooms) were portables. You were lucky if the intercom system worked. The wiring from the office to the buildings was never done correctly. If someone wanted to, they could have accessed campus easily (jumped a regular sized chain length fenced) and come in to your room and do whatever they pleased to you. Classrooms were not to be locked per the administration (pre 9/11 days). So yes, in that instance phones in the room would have been good, because simply there was no sure fired way to contact/get help if you needed it.

    Next the topic of calling parents for a misbehaving child. Would I do it in front of the whole class, no never! I mean that's like asking would you berate a child in front of the whole class. But, I have had instances where I've told a child if you don't stop (because I have exhausted all of my bag of tricks that I can legally do) then we'll call your parent. These have only been extreme causes like when a child took his clothes off and jumped the fence and the principal told me he's in your class and he needs to respect your discipline so you need to discipline him and not expect me to or when another child looked at me and emphatically told me let's see if you can make me do that, then yeah I've told the child we'd be calling home in front of their peers during our break and I've told them how much I don't like to doing that.

    My thoughts are intolerable behavior, like I mentioned above, is not for me to correct. Good (for lack of a better word) behavior has to be taught at home from the beginning by the child's first caretaker. School is not the place to instill good values and beliefs. It is the place to nurture good values and beliefs that have been instilled by the child's first caretaker. So, on correcting extreme behaviors, yes the ownmanship needs to be placed on the parents and of course, I wouldn't leave out the fact that you should work as a team with that parent to help them mediate the problem so that the child ultimately benefits in the end.

    Just my :2cents: Thanks for letting me share!
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Suppose a child needed immediate medical attention that was time sensitive. It would take too long for me to arrange care to leave the room, run to the nurse and come back or even to send a child to the nurse (if the kids are old enough for that). Then again that is why all teachers really need to be CPR certified and have regular first-aid training.

    There are other scenarios as well. I can see the safety issue. I do think phones are overused.
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I think that I should mention that in most newer California schools, there is nothing that separates your classroom door from the outside world. The only thing that stops a person from reaching my classsroom door is a sign that says "All visitors must report to the office." This has been the case in every school I've taught in - including the ones where I had no phone.

    At my school they are pretty good about not calling during class time, and I can always turn the ringer off and have it go to voice mail.

    As far as the "nuclear option" I mentioned, I think I've done it once or twice in 17 years. Usually at the behest of parents who say "Call me the minute he steps out of line and have me talk to him."
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My intercom button gets me right to the office...the nurse is in a room there.
     
  21. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We would call the office on the intercom and tell them to have an administrator call 911 immediately. We don't even have a nurse on campus most days. Our SRO would probably come help out.
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    See, intercom doesn't even enter my realm of thinking either.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    All this talk about phones...here's my log for today of incoming calls.

    Outside counselor (send student to her office)
    Office (special ed meeting during planning...surprise!)
    School counselor (ask about new student)
    School counselor (ask about girl drama, send one to her office)
    School counselor (she sincerely apologized, took FIVE more girls)
    Office (tell "Bob" he's a car rider)
    Office (literally two minutes later: Bob is checking out...weird)
    Office (send work to office for "Mike"...put in in-school isolation)
    Art classroom (a student called asking me a stupid question)

    I think that's it...

    And then a few intercom interruptions...I'm not sure why, but sometimes the office uses the phone for messages and other times they cover over the intercom.

    So they can be useful, or a big pain in the butt!
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Just Me...most of those communications would have been handled via email in my building.
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We have a phone and I get maybe one call a week and it's always legitimate. Yesterday I got a call that my guest speaker needed a student to help her carry stuff and would be late as she was waiting for the halls to clear. Today I got a call that a student was leaving and to please bring her books to the office as she had left them in my room. Neither one bothered me.

    They NEVER patch through calls during school hours.
     
  26. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    No phones in our rooms here. If I have to call a parent I do it on my prep or lunch. The other day I had a child who is continously misbehaving, I had just conferenced with Mom the day before. After the child's lunch we walked to the office, called Mom, went back to the room & did our work that she refused to do earlier.

    I use my cell phone to call the office. Usually when my severly asthmatic is headed there for a breathing treatment.
     
  27. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Both schools I have been at have had phones in the classrooms. I rarely use them because I HATE talking on the phone.

    However, this year I have a kid that telling him I will call dad is the only way I can get him out of his pouty, 2 year old like fits. They are the most ridiculous and random fits ever and they are all for attention and show. But he doesn't want dad to find out, so he shuts up the minute I mention a phone call home!
     
  28. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    My phone is my intercom button...we don't have intercoms anymore! There are many building out there that are making switches to phone systems instead of an intercom.

    The real issue is how it's managed!!! Bottom line is, whatever system you have, you must be smart in using it correctly. No, my secretary doesn't send calls in during the day. No, I don't make phone calls with kids in my room. Yes, I have used it to call the nurse/janitor. Yes, I use the intercom to call and make recess announcements to all classes. Yes, other teachers buzz in to remind me to send kids to them. It's a fancy intercom that allows me to make phone calls in my room when I have time to do so. Instead of making them in the office or lounge where people can listen in on my conversations!
     

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