Text message from a student

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Bumble, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I just received a text message from a student asking about an assignment. I don't know if I should reply. I told my parents they can contact me at anytime, but I'm not sure if text messaging is appropriate. I want to help end the cycle of poverty, so I'm happy that this student is contacting me. Text messages are free for me, so I kind of prefer this, but I'm not sure if it is appropriate. I don't want to be unethical. Your thoughts?

    BTW, this student is a high achiever and her mother is very involved.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I had a student that texted me almost every day last year, just asking about assignments and such. He was from a divorced house, and I know he would leave stuff at either house, and not be able to remember what he needed to do. I actually found it quite handy...don't take this the wrong way, but I don't want to spend extra minutes on the phone if I don't have to! It was nice to be able to text back "yes, math, p. 102 3-27" and be done with it. I'm sure others will feel differently, but my school is relaxed enough that this is ok.

    I also have high school speech kids who text me a lot about when practice is, what time the bus leaves, etc. Not a big deal for me. I guess it just depends on what you are comfortable with.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I find that a little too invasive for my taste. I don't have experience with high school, but I can see the differences there.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    If all of your students have access to your phone number, I see nothing unethical here. Text messages are as ethical or unethical as their content, just as with email or any other format.

    If you are fine with this form of contact, I don't see any problems.
     
  6. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    I think its ok, since its about school assignments. It is like a phone conversation. I mean what's the worst you district finds out you texted a student homework? It's not anything of an innapropriate nature.
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Just reply by a regular phone call to the number the parents have provided.
     
  8. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I would find it very invasive......:)
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I would assume that Bumble gave out a cell phone number. Not a stretch for a parent to say "you forgot the assignment, you call the teacher." Nor is it a stretch for the student to choose texting over actually speaking to an adult.
     
  10. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I think it's fine if you gave them your number. Imagine 10-15 years ago, we would be sitting around the teachers lounge asking if this newfangled emailing was too invasive. LOL. It's a medium of communication and it's great that you are allowing your student access to help!
     
  11. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    I wouldn't text, but I also don't give out my number and I don't use email either because our union specifically tells us not to. I do teach online, but in that medium everything is recorded.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I know people who archive all their emails, partly to protect themselves and the people they work with. If you can text for free, you can probably even forward the texts to your email account by way of documentation: that way, if someone comes along to claim that something inappropriate was sent, you'll have a record.
     
  13. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    It makes me really sad that we have to worry about this. With the thousands of well-meaning teachers out there, a small number of people ruin it for us all!
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It's mostly the bad teachers who are reallly bad with IEPs and accommodations, so then the parents can kill the school in court with DP and OCR. :p

    Faxes are also good, since then they have a paper record of it
     
  15. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Thanks all. I did give out my number. It is easier than depending on receiving a message from the office staff. They are awesome, but they have a lot on their plates. Overall, my students' parents are very involved and actually ask me for advice to help their children. Texts are free for me and provide easy documentation, so I'm okay with it. If this student takes advantage of it, then I will speak to the mom. Sometimes teachers are more than teachers. :)

    I don't know why I was so sketched out about this earlier. I don't think I would allow this if I taught high school. I'm only 24, so I'm too close to their age.
     
  16. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I don't see what the big deal is. Texting is just a form of communication!
     
  17. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    I text my students all the time. Just ten minutes ago one told me that I was going to love the song he created for my US History class. I think it's an excellent communication method and don't mind one bit.
     
  18. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My students all have my cell phone number, and I send and receive school related text frequently. It's a standard form of communication in the 21st century.
     
  19. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    In fact not every archiver of email is a teacher, or was a teacher at the time the archiving began. And there are advantages of archiving beyond covering one's posterior.
     
  20. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    huh?
     
  21. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Is archiving email the same as never cleaning out your inbox?

    My inbox goes back to '07.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Not exactly, and I've got you beat, Sarge...
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I am fully aware of that.

    I am currently covering my ass with every single thing I have been sending to social security.

    And parents of sped children tend to keep records of what they send to school officials, rather useful in a Due Process hearing from what I have heard.
     
  24. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I would be against giving students my cell phone number. What did we do without cell phones? I made it through school just fine, as did many others I assume without having to text the teacher or e-mail the teacher asking about the assignments. Students need to be more responsible and double check their work, make sure they write the assignments down and know when practice is.

    Is it handy and help some students, yes. But, where are they learning communications skills?

    I don't like to be bothered by my boss after I leave the office. I wouldn't like to be bothered by my students unless it was an emergency of some sort..then they can e-mail me.
     
  25. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    In my district we're highly discouraged from giving out cell phone numbers. They prefer we contact students by email. (High school students receive their own email address through the district.) It's all about documentation.

    But if you are able to give out your cell number in your district, I think a text is fine. :)
     
  26. Bloom

    Bloom Companion

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    As long as you are comfortable with this format, I don't see the problem (sign of the times!) I would however, contact the parent to make sure they are comfortable with their student contacting you in this manner....it may cost them $. I look at is the same as an email....
     
  27. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    I agree snickydog.

    If they want my number to ask about assignments, etc..I want their number to find out from them why they didn't turn an assignment in :)
     
  28. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    I wouldn't guve out my cell number but I do use school email a lot for student/parent contact.
     
  29. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I would love it!
     
  30. steveljohn8

    steveljohn8 New Member

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    Yes Students send message to their friends and teachers.They can not afford the call charges.:cool:
     
  31. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    My 16 year old daughter has a soccer coach who texts most information. It really bothers me.

    Texting is great....child to child or adult to adult. But something about another adult, who is an authority figure, texting my child just doesn't sit right with me.

    I agree with the comment made with regards to 10 years from now it will seem silly but I'm just not there yet.
     
  32. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    I have never minded an occasional call or text that was related to homework, but I did run into some problems when a student and I were involved in a discipline issue. My once responsible-texting student used the number to try to ask questions and get information about the situation and eventually to tell me how badly I had messed up and how much I would regret it later. I documented all of the texts and turned them in to my admin., but it was a pretty awkward position to be in, receiving texts and calls from an upset high school student.
     
  33. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    :D Works for me! Actually my son (he's 13 yr. old) will go through & delete things for me. He know I don't do it. But then again I don't text parents/students just my hubby & kids & sometimes co-workers to let them know something.
     
  34. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Something else to remember about txting...sometimes, a text just doesn't go through.
    At least with a phone call, you will touch base with someone or their answering service eventually.
     
  35. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I STINK at texting-it takes me a really long to type anything out, so I find them very, very annoying. The parent of my 'little sister' that I mentor texts me all the time, and I can't stand it. Call me, e-mail me, but don't text me!! I wouldn't care that the student was trying to contact me, but I would hate having to write back on that stupid phone. E-mail is so much better for me. For that reason, I don't have it on my plan, so every text I get costs me 10 cents. That adds up!
     
  36. bros

    bros Phenom

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    You could have them text your email instead, then you can reply to (or send text messages) via email
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I got a happy bday text from a student today...and another from his brother whom I taught several years ago. The mom had my cell phone # because I've tutored for them in the past. It was funny though when I opened the brother's text and it said 'Happy birthday, Love Sam'...I couldn't figure out for a moment who Sam was...Secret admirer? (smacks head) Oh, it's Sam, my former student and brother of my current student!! :whistle::whistle:
     
  38. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    hahaha czacza!

    happy birthday btw!
     
  39. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    In our district, we were told that it is okay, for example, for a coach to send a text to the whole team ("practice canceled"), but it is NOT okay to have one-on-one conversations via texting. To most people, it would look suspicious, and perceptions about behavior can go a long way ...

    I know that you were saying it is just about an assignment, but be careful. We were told it could be a "grooming" behavior for sexual abuse or inappropriate things. Perception means more sometimes than the reality. (Which is really sad.)
     
  40. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Thanks!!:love:
     
  41. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Canuk Tchr: If you don't give out your number and don't use email, if parents have a question or issue the only way to reach you is by phone at school or in person? Your UNION specifically tells you not to use your home phone or email??? Wow!
     

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