Texting between parents and teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by dogs&teaching, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. dogs&teaching

    dogs&teaching Comrade

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    Oct 5, 2011

    I've been thinking about this lately and haven't really made up my mind about it. Sometimes it is easier for parents to text me a quick question so I can answer yes or no right away. (I don't currently have parents text me or vice versa.) What do you think? I mean texting relating only to school stuff.
     
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  3. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Oct 5, 2011

    I have a parent who texts me- but only about school stuff (she's a volunteer) and I text my daughter's teacher (of course we work together).
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't text (anyone—ever), but I simply prefer email. I usually respond to an email within an hour (if it's a very simple response) or a couple hours (for longer, more thorough responses). Additionally, while I'm not insanely protective of my personal cell phone number, I'm not open to giving it to all parents.
     
  5. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Email is my rule. I do not want to give out my cell # to parents.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't believe that I am obligated to give up my own privacy and personal time just so that a parent can have an easier time getting ahold of me. Use that phone to make an actual phone call or get on your email account and send me an email. I'll email you when I'm at school and in my teacher mode. There's no need for a parent to text me when I'm out at a ball game with my friends, eating dinner with my husband, or at a movie. No need whatsoever.
     
  7. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 5, 2011

    I agree.
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Oct 5, 2011

    I only text one parent this year. And her mom was my aide for the past two yrs. She doesn't call me, and only texts me if I text her first.
     
  9. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Oct 5, 2011

    Texting Parents

    I agree with this!!
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I text several parents, but only because I'm friends with them outside of school. Those I'm not friends with, I don't.
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 5, 2011

    I only answer emails to my school address or voice mail to my school phone. Even people who are friends with me outside of school only use my school email or school phone for anything work related.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 5, 2011

    As I explained it to the parents at Meet the Teacher Night:

    There are no math emergencies. I'm fortunate not to work in the medical field where things are life and death. My kids have a 20 minute rule. If the homework isn't done in 20 minutes, they can stop. If they weren't able to finish the assignment, no big deal. They can ask me for extra help and learn it tomorrow. We have 180 days together; there is nothing in my class so urgent that it can't wait until tomorrrow.


    So I gave them my school email address, and promised to check it every mornng and every evening. And that's sufficient.
     
  13. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Oct 5, 2011

    The only time I've really asked parents to text me was when we had a strep epidemic - half my kids were out at dr appointments, I had a sore throat, if someone got a positive for strep I needed to leave and go to the dr myself.

    Parents were at the doctors' offices, without email access. So when they got the positive strep results, they texted to let me know.

    Parents who I deal with outside of school (tutoring, etc) text me.

    But for the most part, I answer email quickly enough that I don't see why it would be necessary.

    I have sent picture messages to parents in the hospital, because they wanted to feel that they were still part of their child's day.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This is the best course of action.:thumb::2cents:
     
  15. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I would never reveal my cell phone number to a parent. There has been two exceptions to this rule. 1) I took a group of kids from 7 different schools to Chicago. It made sense that I could contact parents if I needed to and that they could contact me. In that case I got the school to buy a new SIM card for my phone and to put some credit on it. That new number was given to parents with the instruction that it would be on 24 hours before the trip departed, during the trip and for 24 hours after it returned. They also had my school email and the school office phone number.

    The 2nd instance was when I had to got to A&E (ER) with a student who was in tremendous pain and we couldn't get hold of a parent. I used my cell phone to keep her dad updated while he rushed across the country to get to the hospital. When he arrived I told him that I would be deleting his number from my phone and asked him to do the same.
     
  16. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I am a club adviser and our club is active all summer. We also have early morning activities throughout the year. Parents of most of the active kids have my cell number. I do occasionally get texts - "What time are you leaving for the field trip today? When is the meeting?, etc." I haven't had any parents take advantage of it. I am also lucky that I really don't get much of a cell signal at home and most of the kids know not to text me at night because chances are - I won't get it.
     
  17. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Oct 6, 2011

    Ditto.
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Last year, there were two parents who I'd text (about school-related issues). I actually went to high school with them, so I had no problem with them having my number. I am still close with both families.
     
  19. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oct 7, 2011

    I would never text a parent, nothing is that urgent. I'll gladly correspond via e-mail and the school's phone.
     
  20. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    I agree with the majority of the other posters here.

    My day is over at 2:55 P.M. ....which means (other than grading papers at night) my day is OVER.
     
  21. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    If the school wants me to keep in touch with parents by phone then it can provide me with one together with a contract or some credit and also can allocate me some time in my timetable to do this.

    How did our parents ever manage to keep track of our education? Or how did I ever manage to keep track of my kid's education? (age 29 and 22 now)?
     
  22. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Oct 8, 2011

    I would never give my cell out, unless in some extreme case. My mom managed to put me through school without even having email contact (the horror!) so I think parents now can manage just fine. I'm quick to respond to emails anyways. If it's an "emergency" they can call the school.
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 9, 2011

    Always remember, don't start anything you don't plan on doing later. Them having my work email is as far as I'll go. Definitely never my home phone, cell phone, nor home email. Once they have that, it may start out simple, but then they'll contact you more & more & w/ seemingly lengthier questions/concens. No thanks!

    Plus, I'm not going to check work email all hrs of the night when I get home. After a certain time each day, that's it & I'll get back to them the next business day, so if it's after my hours on a Friday, I'll get back to them on Monday.
     
  24. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2011

    Some parents do text me, not at my own request, but because they do have my cell number and sometimes it is easier to shoot a text rather than call. I don't mind, and I try to answer immediately unless I'm right in the middle of something. Usually, I'm good at answering since I always have my cell on me.
     
  25. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Oct 9, 2011

    Can you text your Bank Manager 24/7? Can you text your doctor 24/7? Why on Earth should anyone expect to be able to text/call their child's teacher 24/7? In fact why should they expect to do this at all?
     
  26. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Well said. I agree 100%.
     
  27. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Oct 9, 2011

    I text during class because we are no longer able to call parents while teaching, but sometimes it is needed!
     
  28. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2011

    Believe it or not, I HAVE texted my doctor!

    I see your point but... I don't know. I take my job seriously and I care about the kids I work with. I understand that there are limits, but as long as parents aren't crawling in my bed, awaiting a story every night, I can deal with the texting. Hey, at least it shows they are concerned.

    Answering a text takes thirty seconds. I do it for my friends, and so I don't mind doing it for anyone else.
     
  29. mwil

    mwil Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2011

    I definitely do not send text messages to parents from my school, or use my cell phone number. On occasion, if we are at outdoor school and a parent needs to be called, I have no qualms about using my cell phone to get in touch with them - I simply expect them to respect my privacy. However, for general communications I prefer email over anything else, because there is documentation of everything that is easily accessible. I check my email throughout the day, and sometimes in the evening, and that seems good enough for parents, so that's good enough for me. I take my job very seriously, and my students are like my own children in many ways, however at some point the line between my job and my personal life has to be drawn to protect my own sanity.
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I do too.

    I also care about my own personal time, where I get to be Cassie and not Mrs. Caesar, and about my family time.

    Taking 30 seconds or otherwise, answering texts about school stuff is not something I want to do in my downtime. I have to be in my "school mode" for that stuff, and I'd rather not have to do that at home.

    To each his own.
     
  31. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    I don't mean those that don't text parents on their own time don't care about students...But like I said, everyone has their limits and I don't think anyone is better or worse because of it. I do what I feel comfortable with, same as anyone else.

    I'm Speechy all the time... there is no "mode" for me.
     
  32. dogs&teaching

    dogs&teaching Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2011

    All of my parents have my cell phone number for a couple reasons. The phone in my preschool is a shared line with the convent. If someone in the convent is on the phone, I can't use it. I also do p.e. in another building that does not have a phone. So I must have a means of communication. I get free incoming calls and texts, so it's not a big deal for the school to get ahold of me, or should a parent need to. I would rather parents call me, but some of them, I don't want to talk on the phone to because they are impossible to get off the phone. So a text it's almost easier in that situation. All of the classes I teach are in a different building than the elementary, voicemails left at the school number don't always make it over to me. Parents know that if they call my phone, I will definitely get the message.
     
  33. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Oct 10, 2011

    I thought about this thread today... as I was texting a parent!

    Student was absent, I had an important message about a special event tomorrow morning, and I know mom doesn't always get to her email every night. Didn't want to bug her with a phone call since she was probably at work, and knew I'd forget if I put it off till this evening. So I sent her a text.
     

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