Thoughts on giving your phone # to students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Apr 30, 2008

    I have never felt comfortable with giving my phone number to students, but I know teachers that do. I knew one teacher that actually gave out her cell phone number! I worry that overbearing parents will call me all the time, or that students will read the directions on a HW assignment once and decide it's "too hard" and call me right away (during dinner, of course! :lol:)

    Do you give out your number? What's your experience been like? Do you have rules, such as, no calling after 9 pm or no calling the teacher without phoning a classmate first?
     
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  3. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I never give out my cell number - that is for family only. Parents have access to my home number because it is listed. I have only had a few calls at home.

    I try to leave school at school, so I wouldn't want to get calls at home all the time. My husband gets work calls at home all the time - that is enough!

    I can see in certain situations, such as having an at risk student, you might want to offer the phone number, just for that little bit of extra support.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I give out my home number, and I've never regretted it. I'd rather a parent call me with a problem than get hung-up on it all evening.

    I teach 2nd grade, and yes, I've even had students call -- but not often and you could always hear a parent in the background.

    Parents are usually pretty respectful of my evening time. If it isn't a good time, I let the machine get it anyway.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don't give out my numbers. We're actually listed in the book--only one of two people with out last name in the whole town, so it's not hard to find.

    I don't take work calls at home. We have caller ID. If I recognize a parent's name, I don't answer & let the machine get it. Sometimes DH will answer it. He'll tell them that I don't take calls at home and tell them when they can contact me at work, or he'll take a message.

    I do, however, give them an email address. It's not my personal one, but a gmail one I set up just for work-related stuff at home. I get a few emails.
     
  6. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    The only one I have given my number to is a current student who is on home instruction due to leukemia. I have given her mother my home number. I call several times a week and try to visit most weeks. The family is going through several other problems at the same time. I gave Mom my cell number because I called once from class. We have set up a program called Skype, so we can see eachother and talk on the computer. The first time I was trying to walk her through a set up issue. We have only used the program a few times but my number was on the caller ID after that. So I told her mother that she can use it to call me if she needs to. She has only called a couple of times, to update me after the child has had a medical procedure.
     
  7. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    I don't give out my phone number, but everyone (parents and students) have an e-mail address where they may contact me. I check e-mail about 8:00 each evening and respond to all of their questions, even if it is just something like thanks for letting me know of your concern/question, I'll need to speak with you further about that tomorrow.
     
  8. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    I would personally never give out my phone number, but I'm the type that likes to maintain a strictly professional relationship with parents and students. I don't tell them my age or anything personal and even though my first and last name are on my I.D. badge, I still tell them my first name is "Ms." :lol:
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have a website which I check often during the day and at least once in the evening. My cell and home number are available thru the guidance office for tutoring referrals and my phone number is in the book so I guess technically people could call me- I think you need to make it very clear though that you do not want calls- don't give your number out freely.
     
  10. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I gave out my number the first year I taught and had a parent who was wacko and truly abused it, so I don't do it anymore. I live far away from where I teach and in a different county, so no one bothers to check in the phone book for it. I tell the parents from day 1 that I check my email at home and that is always the best way to reach me.

    Although I did have a parent keep my cell phone number from her caller id from a time I had called her about her son and call me one evening recently. Totally caught me offguard.
     
  11. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    As a parent, I'd love to have some kind of phone access, even if it was just to leave a message where I knew it would be reliably delivered (the school is not a great place for this -- I just left a message this morning at 9:30 am and never got a call back, and it's a state testing day AND there happened to be an issue today (which was following on from something that happened yesterday which I wanted to talk to her about)). I'd be happy with reliable email, even.
     
  12. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I give mine out at the first of the year with the stipulation that it is for emergency purposes only. It's been abused once or twice in 10 years. I did appreciate knowing one of my kids was in the E.R. when he had an accident.

    Cell numbers.... never in a million years.
     
  13. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    My child attends school in the district where I teach. Our PTO compiles a "buzz book" with the phone numbers and addresses of all the students in the district. I could have opted out, but that would interfere with my daughter's social life. I have not yet had a parent call me at home. Kids email me with questions on the weekend, and i am more than happy to answer them.
     
  14. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    I went to a leadership conference with five students, and we were in different areas of the hotel, and would be split throughout the day. For emergency purposes, the other teacher and I gave our cell numbers and took the student's numbers. They called us a couple times to touch base, and one called me the other day to verify a meeting we had afterwards.

    I know this is an exceptional situation (I didn't release it to a class)--and I don't have these students in class, either.

    However, I think they were more surprised when I (half-jokingly) told them that I may be calling them during the school day now to see if their phones ring (phones are not to be visible during the day--much less heard or used!). That offense is a Saturday detention. Their looks were priceless! Haha!

    Of course, these are the same students who refused to believe that I did NOT carry my phone around all day. They couldn't conceive that I left mine at my desk or in the closet or anywhere except on my person.
     
  15. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I give out my email. I know that teachers who work for KIPP are required to give parents and students their phone numbers. This is one reason why I did not continue interviewing with KIPP. I do not like that I am required to give up my evenings. BUT, I have no problems giving out my email. I am very good at checking emails on a regular basis and responding to them.
    I did give out my cell phone once when we were on a field trip. I gave my number to my five chaperones since the groups would be split up in this very large science museum. That was the only time.
     
  16. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I don't give out anything personal.

    Parents have the school phone number and my extension. I give out my school e-mail, but that's it.
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I gave out my number to one parent, and that was because she was causing quite the stink. I (and the principal) thought it best. She didn't abuse having my number, and she was actually better having it.
     
  18. really?

    really? Rookie

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    Maybe I'm crazy, but I give my cell phone number out to my speech team. No one has called me outside of a speech tournament. I like knowing if a student needs me that he/she can find me quickly. Often, the speech tournament occupies the whole high school. When they call, I can tell them exactly where I am or give them instructions.

    I also use my cell to call parents about grades or issues since I don't have a phone in my classroom. I suppose a parent would then have my number.

    Most of the time, if I don't know who is calling or I don't want to deal with it right then, I let it go to voicemail. By the way, I don't have a landline, so that eliminates that option.

    I also give my email to students and parents. I check it a couple of times an evening. A student has a question every once in awhile, but so far I've not dealt with anything excessive.
     
  19. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I don't give out my home phone number. Our phones are put to voicemail unless it is an emergency or conference period, so I always get my messages. I can check my e-mail from home and I really prefer e-mail. I check my school e-mail all the time because we use it for school communication too. I can only check the voicemail during conference period or after school.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I always gave out my home number to my college students since my primary phone is my cell phone. They never abused the number, but I hesitate to give it out to middle schoolers and their parents. I've given it out under special circumstances, but not as a general rule.
     
  21. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I give out my email but never my phone #. I do not want the responsibility of having to call parents back right away or talk to them during my evenings to myself. I do email pretty regularly with parents however
     
  22. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I won't give out my number. A former colleague of mine has former female students that call and leave him inappropriate messages. The parents don't do much to stop it. I have already had kids (6th graders) ask me out, ask for my email, phone #, myspace page, etc. I would be asking or trouble.
     
  23. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    I give every student my home number, it is in the phone book anyway. I tell them they can call me with questions no later than 9pm. I have never had any problems. I do, however, make it clear that this is for help with homework, projects, etc. only. Parents are not to call with comments - they can only call me at school during planning. This has only happened once and I simply hung up on them after telling them to call me at school the next day.
     
  24. MrU82

    MrU82 Rookie

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    Giving your phone number out is probably one of the worst ideas. I try to keep everything personal of mine...well...personal. Students can contact me via e-mail or the official history class MySpace page (good way to actually use MySpace to your benefit).

    The MySpace page works great because kids post homework questions, look at the study guides, etc etc. Instead of fighting it...manipulate it to your benefit. But as far as phone numbers...i dont know. The last thing I need is a student drunk dialing me (yes thats happened to a colleague). It created the biggest crap storm for him...especially since it was a FEMALE student. Her parents got a hold of her phone, saw a late night phone call to their daughters young new teacher and...well you get the idea.
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I give my cell number to members of the club I sponsor. We typically attend events all around town, so we often need to coordinate things as far as directions, carpools, etc. Plus, I know parents feel better when they know they can easily get ahold of me at one of those weekend events in case of an emergency or whatever.

    No one has abused the privilege of having my number. I do occasionally receive text messages from students asking about assignments or asking me what I want from Starbucks since they're picking up treats for the class or something.
     
  26. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    I don't give out my phone number to my parents. We had "room moms" at my school and she or they were the only parents who had my number. If another parent wanted needed to get a hold of me they called the room mom who then called me if it was an emergency or something that needed to be handled immediatly. I was very fortunate to have room moms who protected my privacy and not call about homework issues.

    I always give parents my school email and home email to contact me.
     
  27. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I don't feel comfortable giving my phone number out to a parent or child. I have no problem giving out my email address though--- I like having a record of what was said from me and the parent/student and it allows me to think of an appropriate answer. Other than that they'll have to reach me by note or by leaving a voicemail at the school.
     
  28. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The parents of my students know that they can only reach me by phone at the school until 3pm. I have no problem with answering e-mails from home or even on weekends, though. There are a few parents that don't get home from work until after 3 so they have no choice. They have never asked for my home number but I'd stick to the e-mail. My husband would have a fit if they started calling the house! Telemarketers are bad enough:lol:
     
  29. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    They have it anyway so...

    While I have never GIVEN my cell phone number out to the parents of my students, I know they all know it anyway because they all have caller i.d. :p I do receive phone calls from parents, but they have never abused it. I tell parents my rule that all my phone calls go to voice mail first, and I return calls that are urgent swiftly. In order for me to return calls, they must leave a message, or I dont' respond. Other calls have a 24-48 hours turnaround time. I only call parents back a 7 p.m. because that's when I have free minutes. I do not accept phone calls after 7:59 p.m.

    The only time I answer my phone outside the parameters of the above rules are when I am expecting communication from a particular parent.
     
  30. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I've been a contracted teacher for 3 years, and an intern and then sub for 3 more. In that time, students have always had a way to contact to me. Some of them at least.

    As a sub and intern I worked for 3 different sports teams and the kids had my cell number to call in case they couldn't make it to practice etc. Some of them had my MSN name. (I definitely don't do that any longer, and have changed MSN names since then). In that time, the only abuse I had was a couple of basketball players who called me while drunk because they needed a ride. I called one of the boys' parents, and they confirmed that they were out of town and that their older son (who was a first year University student) was supposed to pick up their younger son and his friend. I was at the same party as the older son at the time, and he was far too drunk to drive. I was sober, so I picked up the younger boys and took them home (with parental consent) and later took the older one home with some of my friends.

    In my first year of contracted teaching I didn't want parents calling me at home. Ever. I learned how to block my number from showing up on caller ID, but it was expensive to get my number unlisted, so parents did call me at home, which annoyed me to no end.

    Last year I worked with a cultural group that doesn't value education and never had any phone calls, either at work or at school.

    This year, my home number is listed and I've had one parent call me at home this year. I also worked with a wrestling team, and wrestling tournaments require a coach in the corner of matches. At large tournaments its easy for my kids to be in one place, and me in another. Those boys had my cell number (for whatever reason, there were no girls on my team) so they could text me before matches. They gave my cell number to some other students, but since the season has ended, I have rarely recieved texts from students.

    I don't mind giving my number to kids I coach. I want to know if they won't be at practice, or if they can't make it to a tournament or game, and I want to know ASAP.

    I've experienced sexual harrassment at the hands of students - I've been touched innapropriately in the hallways, and been asked for lap dances. I have learned to be cautious and report these things IMMEDIATELY to my administration and to my Union. As a result, I've never had the proverbial **** hit the fan, as everyone has always been aware, so I will continue to give my number to kids I coach.
     
  31. DannyC09

    DannyC09 Rookie

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    May 1, 2008

    My chemistry and freshmen English teacher gave us their phone numbers... I must say, that having them has been helpful! They are nice to have when I can't figure out a complex formula or to get information on homework when I was absent...

    Both teachers have strict guidelines on calling them.... No calls after 7:30, calls must be "school-worked related", and anyone who tries to use *67 to hide their phone-number (for pranking purposes) would be blocked...

    For teachers who are concerned about "pranksters"... some newer digital telephone services allow you to block callers that show up as "private caller" on Caller ID... some also allow to block certain phone numbers, which would be good for those who abuse calling your house.

    Also, if you want students to able to call you without calling your house, look into on-line voicemail... these services are like an answering machine, but stored on the internet. This would allow your students to call you, without giving them your cell or home number. Also, since they aren't contacting you directly, you can return the phones when you want. The downside is that you can't receive the messages without the internet and cannot receive messgaes in "real-time."
     
  32. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I'm a firm believer in providing my number to students and parents -- and I lay down the ground rules -- no calling after 9pm or before 6 am (I'm an early riser.)

    I just got off the phone an hour ago with a somewhat distraught 8 year old who lost her spelling list for tomorrow's test, and who was very concerned. (Of course, she had her Mom's permission to call.) I gave her the web page address so she could find the spelling list there, and waited while she found it online. It took less than 3 minutes, and kept her from worrying all night about failing a test -- for lack of a spelling sheet.

    Of course, she's a straight A student, and probably would have passed the test anyway...but I'm glad she wanted to study for the test.

    I've only had one parent abuse my phone number -- and I simply told her to stop calling me, because she was calling too late (and while intoxicated.) I figured out how to block her number, but never had to. Once I told her she was not welcome to call me any longer, she stopped.

    More times than not, having a parent call me in the evening takes less than 5 minutes, and it usually takes care of a problem that could have gotten blown all out of proportion by the next morning (he said, she said, kind of stuff)
     
  33. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    I never give out my number, but always give out my e-mail address. I always stay after school and my parents know they can call me before / after school. I had a parent who managed to somehow get my cell phone number out of the attendance clerk and continuously called me cell phone. I had to have a conference with her and the principal before I could ever get her to stop. What a mess.
     
  34. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 2, 2008

    That's actually a pretty good idea :up:
     

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