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parents call you at home?
Old 08-02-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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I am piggy backing on my own post. I was suprised that several of you allow parents to call you at home. When I get a landline number I want it to be unlisted so that no one can call me. As I tell our parents at our Focus Meeting, I am always on the computer, if you need something you may e-mail me. I just think that is too personal. I don't call parents on my cell phone for this reason. One parent had my number because she worked where I got my contacts. She called me one time to tell me my contacts were in (after hours) but also to discuss school. So how many of you give out your home number?


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I never have
Old 08-02-2009, 08:55 AM
 
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and I don't have my dentist/doctor/gyn/manager of target's home number either.

The last thing I would ever give out is my home number. The parents can always leave a message on the school phone and I will return their call during work hours.

Our union has told us, we can NOT call parents from our home.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:56 AM
 
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Nope. I do not give out my home number. Last year, I made the mistake of calling a parent from my cell phone because the building phone was not working. She saved it and called me several times on it. When I didn't answer one time, she called my home phone. She found it on whitepages.com.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:59 AM
 
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I have been giving out my home number for over a decade and only once had a parent call me at home. That was an important call, imo.
I believe in creating relationships with families and if they have something to discuss with me I'd rather them call me then let it fester or go to the principal. I think you'd find most parents would not abuse this
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:59 AM
 
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I would never give students parents my home or cell phone number. Nor do I call them from either my home or cell phone. If parents want to reach me they can call the school and leave me a message or email me at my school address.


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No home numbers
Old 08-02-2009, 09:01 AM
 
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I dont give out my home number. However parents are encouraged to email as that is the fastest way to catch me.
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Dear Sam,
Old 08-02-2009, 09:02 AM
 
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Like you, I do not give out my number at school. DH is listed in the phone book if anyone cared to look it up. I give out my hours at school ( I am usually there from 7:00 until 4:30) and email if they want to contact me. I have been very fortunate rarely to be called at home and when I was, the parent told me of family emergencies, death in the family, etc. and it was not to talk about school. I have never called a teacher of one of my sons at home. Max...
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:02 AM
 
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I haven't given out my home number but it's not unlisted either. I think in the 10yrs I have taught I have had a parent call me 2 times. I don't think any of my colleagues have a problem with parents calling them at home. I know the school doesn't give it out and we are visible at school. We are encouraged to be at school until 4pm so if a parent needs to see us, they can. I have only had a few parents stop to visit with me then.
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no
Old 08-02-2009, 09:03 AM
 
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No, I don't give mine out either. I give parents a business card magnet at the beginning of the year with the school's address/phone number and my email address. I tell them that I check my email nightly and they may contact me that way. That's not for homework questions - they can contact other classmates for that.

After Katrina we had to contact students to make sure they were okay, how much damage they had, if they were moving, etc... so they all got my cell phone number. I didn't know it would be a problem until one of them called me in church one day! I never turned off my phone because all my friends/family knew where I was. I don't call parents from my cell phone now (and I turn off my phone).

I love what Azure said - if doctors, dentists, etc... don't give out theirs - why should we? Is there really a school emergency that has to interrupt our family time?
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It Depends (sorry this is so long)
Old 08-02-2009, 09:07 AM
 
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Whether or not I allow a parent to know my home phone depends a lot on who it is and what kind of relationship I have with him/her. You kind of have to size people up. I have called parents from my cell phone on my drive home from work, and have also called a select few from my home phone. I have also put my cell phone number on field trip information sheets for parents, in case I was not in the immediate area and they needed me (like at a museum or park). I have never, in almost 20 years of teaching, had anyone ever use either number to call me. I have to say that I have purposely never called a parent from either of my personal numbers if we had an adversarial relationship and I thought it might come back to bite me later. That's what I mean by "sizing people up." I had an unlisted home phone number for years, and found that it caused more problems when people who I would want to be able to call our home couldn't find us, like neighbors and friends of my children. My new home phone has been listed for over 7 years and it has never been a problem.

As far as the parent who called you about the contacts, if she really had a legitimate reason for calling you, and asked if she could discuss something about school, I don't think that's inappropriate. You could always just say that you don't have time to give it your full attention at the moment and that you could call her later. If she used your personal records from her job for the sole purpose of calling you about something unrelated to her job, then I feel it would be overstepping boundaries.


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Old 08-02-2009, 09:09 AM
 
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No, I don't think it is appropriate to give out your phone number to parents. I do not want parents calling me on either my cell or my home phone. Like others, I am online a lot and I do follow up quickly with any emails that are sent, even from home. Parents know that the easiest way to reach me and have me respond quickly is to email me.
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Absolutely!
Old 08-02-2009, 09:16 AM
 
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I don't understand how anyone can complain about lack of parental involvement, and then not have open lines of communication.

I encourage my students and parents to call me with any concerns at all.

I have for three years. It's not been abused, yet.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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That is one reason I am glad to have Vonage..no listed phone # anywhere. We have voice mail at school, and I encourage parents to leave a message on it day or night. Also they have my email address. I have taught 33 years, and I have had parents abuse calling me in the past.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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When I taught elementary school, I never made a secret of the fact that I was listed in the phone book. When I moved to middle school, I told kids I was listed and to call me if they ever needed me. I don't remember how many parents ever called me - not many - but I do remember a young man who called to tell me about his first few months of high school. He just wanted to talk.
Now that I'm in a new district, I do the same thing. If I really want to talk to a parent, I give the student my home number to take home. I don't give out my cell number just because I watch my minutes. I've used it to call parents, but I then give them my home number to return the call.
It's never been a problem for me.
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Nope...
Old 08-02-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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I do not give out my home phone number. I check my email several times at home in the evening and am more than happy to email them back. There have been rare occasions where a parent wanted to talk with me over the phone, but didn't get home from work until after 5 or 6. If I trusted that parent would not call me for silly reasons then I would call them from home. But, I never gave that number out. I have had a few parents look me up to call and ask me HW questions. I think that is just rude. Like PP posters said..my doctor does not give me her home number to ask random questions that could easily wait until office hours. She doesn't even give me her email!

I do give out my cell phone number on field trips, but I always write in on top of the paper that I expect them to give back to me at the end of the trip. That is the best way to make sure it's not lying around begging to be called.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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I don't give out my phone number to parents but do encourage them to contact me by email whenever possible.

I have to confess, my kids go to a very small private school and I have called one of their teachers at home (School gives out the numbers) because my daughter was so upset about a incident at school where a boy in her class threatened to kill himself (5th grade) at recess. I had to make sure the teacher was aware of what had happened asap --so the teacher could contact parents etc.
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No way!
Old 08-02-2009, 09:45 AM
 
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I teach at a high SES school and have had parents call me and yell at me in the past. One parent showed up at my house before school started two years ago. It probably depends on where you teach, but at my school they think they own you. I am unlisted and will never give out my number. I won't even call except on the school phone. Last year I stopped answering e-mail except on school time because some parents would expect me to answer in the evening with BS stuff. I am at school until 5:00 every day so I'm not hard to reach. Maybe other schools don't have such needy parents that have boundary issues!
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A always give out my number.
Old 08-02-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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In our district, we are expected to call parents from our cell phones when school lets out early for snow or some other emergency. When we do that, they have our cell phone numbers, but I've never had anyone abuse that. Well, only one. But isn't that what caller ID is for?
I always give out my number at the beginning of the year. I think it's important that parents know they can call me if they have any questions or concerns. The number of people who have abused that is so small that I don't consider it a problem. If they need to talk to me, they usually call the school number instead of my cell phone.
Besides, we live in a small town. They would know how to get my home phone number if they wanted to call me anyway.
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Yes!
Old 08-02-2009, 10:16 AM
 
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I call parents from my cell often and they have never abused this. I don't blame other teachers for not having the same 'rules' I do, but I also leave messages w/parents and tell them it's ok to get back to me but please don't call after 7-8 p.m. I haven't had a problem yet.

I agree with Fleur de lis on this point:
Quote:
I don't understand how anyone can complain about lack of parental involvement, and then not have open lines of communication.
I am a special ed. teacher and need to keep in close contact with several of my parents...not all....on a daily or weekly basis, which is NOT to say these calls are daily or weekly ALL the time. It works for me and I resent someone who doesn't have a clue what I do telling me it's "not appropriate"...


I'm in a portable with limited outlets and my phone is in a very awkward place in my room. I always call from my cell phone when I'm at school.

ALSO, do all of your students' parents have home email? Apparently, most of you are very lucky this way, but not very many of my students' parents do---yes, they could go to the public library, etc., but that is not always handy when they have an emergency.

edited to add: I DO have my dentist's home number by the way, . He gave it to me for severe emergencies!!!
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:47 AM
 
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I teach in a very low SES, Title I school -and freely given out my home phone number for 16 years. I have never had a parent abuse it and I always ask that if they need to contact me, to please never call after 8 at night. It hasn't ever been a problem.

The parents of my students generally do not have access to computers or email (out of 20 students last year, 2 had computers). We have 2 phone lines for a school of 795 students. No voicemail. I would much rather spend 10 minutes talking to a parent on the phone from the calm of my home, than talk to a parent as school is starting, after school or during my planning time. As a matter of fact, during parent teacher conferences, I offer a phone conference as an option and many parents ask for that- I sit in my recliner in sweats with my gradebook and notes in front of me. We chat for 15 minutes or so and the parent is glad that I am keeping them informed. We also have the terrible problem of never having working phone numbers for many students- they either don't inform me that a number has changed, or that they no longer have a phone.

Last edited by NCteacher; 08-02-2009 at 03:39 PM..
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I give mine out!
Old 08-02-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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I've always given out my home phone number (14 years of teaching) and only had one parent be a pest. I took advantage of caller id with that one, and let her leave a message. If it was really a legit phone call, I'd call her back.
We have a lot of blue collar families who can't make phone calls from their jobs during school hours and don't have email access. If building relationships with parents means a few phone calls after hours, I am OK with that!
I don't give out my cell phone number though . . . don't want to be tracked down just anywhere
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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You can HAVE parent involvement AND open lines of communication WITHOUT giving them your personal number.

I do not want my parents/students having my cell or home number. If they need to reach me, they email me.

One suggestion I've heard is to get a free 800 number that your parents can call...or a voice mail system on the school phone...that works, too...
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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NO WAY!

I have seen other co-workers do this and get burned by it! Parents really abused it!

In my opinion, there are so many different ways that parents can contact me. I don't think it is necessary to discuss things while I am at home (after a very long day at work).

They can e-mail me, write me a note, call the school and leave a message on my voicmail, or see me after school. Pick one!
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I do!
Old 08-02-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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I've always given out my cell phone and it has solved more problems than it has caused. I have never had students or parents abuse it. Most never use it anyway and those that do only use it for quick questions, to return a call I made or set up a conference.

Like many other things, it's a personal choice I have made for myself and respect other people's differing opinions on the subject!
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communicaton
Old 08-02-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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Quote:
They can e-mail me, write me a note, call the school and leave a message on my voicemail, or see me after school. Pick one!
Amen, Ladybug! I have been harassed by several parents in the past and for 90% of my class email, notes, messages, etc. works just fine. I do compulsively check my email and if a parent has a valid concern or emergency, I will call them. But, much like Pretty Woman, I say who and I say when!
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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Sometimes. The last two years I had a student with extreme behavior issues. I used my cell phone to call their parents from the classroom many times. That gave the parents my number and I told them to feel free to call me or text me during school hours to check on their child or return my calls. If they called after hours I sometimes answered the phone and sometimes did not. It depended on how badly I needed to talk with the parent. It definitely helped the students' behavior to know that the parents and I were in constant communication and the parents appreciated it.
The biggest problem is that in the type of school I work in, it can be very difficult to get in touch with parents on the phone. Their phones get turned off for lack of payment often.
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I Have To
Old 08-02-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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I have to provide the parents, of my tutoring students, that I see afterschool and in summers my cell phone. It is the only way they can get a hold of me! I much rather have them call me to cancel an appointment then to drive to their house - since it is on my dime! Between the 30 some students I have NEVER had any problems!
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Yes...
Old 08-02-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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I give parents my cell and home phone numbers. I work in a very low SES area where most parents don't have access to e-mail, so that doesn't work. There are also no phones in classrooms, so parents would have to leave a message at the front office and I'd have to call back from the office. Plus, most parents work and are not available during the day (not able to use the phone at their jobs). Sigh. So, I just ask that they call before 9pm. It's been okay--only one parent really got on my nerves in the past 5 years (that's what caller id is for!)
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Our number is in the book, and there are only TWO people with our last name . . . so it's not hard to find me.

Now that I have Caller ID, I don't answer the phone unless I know who it is. Sometimes DH answers and tells them that I don't take school calls at home.

Before I had Caller ID, if someone called about a school-related matter, I just told them that I did not take calls at home, and I'd be happy to talk to them at school. I'd give them my hours and school phone number.
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Always have
Old 08-02-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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I've been teaching 19 years and have given out my number every year. I've had ONE prank phone call from a student (the first year I taught) and I've never had a parent abuse it.

Last year had a parent call me on my way to school to tell me that her son had been up since 4:00 that morning (their first day for GT pullout), said she'd had to struggle to get him up every morning since school started... until that morning! Calls like that keep you going some days.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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I have always given my home phone number and in thirty years it has not been a problem. I would rather take care of something in the early evening than in a rush right before the kids enter for the day. I enjoy talking with most parents and caller id will allow me to choose to answer or not.
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No
Old 08-02-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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I feel that there isn't an issue that would be such an "emergency" that the family would need to contact me after hours. In our district we can't really use email to discuss issues and concerns with parents either because of legality issues. So I tell my parents that they can contact me before or after school, write me a note or leave me a voicemail on the school phone and I will call them as soon as I can that day. Yes, lines of communication must be open- They can be opened during school hours.
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I give mine out
Old 08-02-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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Mostly, because I agree with the statement:
"I don't understand how anyone can complain about lack of parental involvement, and then not have open lines of communication." There are a lot of people on here stating they do not give theirs out and they are glad that their number is not listed, but I say, learn to trust. Almost always, students and parents do not abuse this privilege.

But also because some of our parents work two jobs and trying to catch them is not always easy. If there is a concern after hours I want to address it while it is fresh, and that means making myself available after hours for those 2 job parents.

Please note, I give out my home number not my cell, this is to give me some personal feel. Also note that in three years, I have received a couple calls and it wasn't for anything goofy. In fact the students grandmother was very ill and she wanted to let me know and to get the assignments for a few days.
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Not any more
Old 08-02-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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I used to give my home phone number to parents, but several years ago I did have parents that abused it. One parent called me at least 3 times a week to ask me questions that could be answered by reading the weekly newsletter. Now I encourage parents to e-mail me or to call during the office hours I keep.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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At my current school, every teacher gives out home and/or cell numbers. I try to avoid both. It's hard to do- the pressure from parents and the fact that every other teacher does it...

Also, it's a small school, and a lot of parents are friends with a lot of teachers (me included), so they have phone numbers from other situations in life, and they share those numbers.

So, I have gotten more than my fair share of phone calls from parents at home. I don't like it. I would rather they email me, or *gasp* just wait until school hours. I mean, really, when I was in grade school, did I get the chance to call my teacher to clarify #8 on the homework assignment? No, I just tried it, and suffered whatever consequences came my way.
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Open communication is a must!
Old 08-02-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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I always give out my cell and home phone number - almost 30 years of teaching and only one time has it been abused. What I have noticed is that small issues get nipped before they turn into big ones. At Open House I explain that I usually am able to respond to an email before a phone call so general questions about homework, field trips etc usually come thru email. Behavior issues usually go thru a phone call. I probably only get 4-7 calls a year. It is well worth giving out my number.
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No, no, no!!!!
Old 08-02-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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Like the first poster said...I do not have the home phone number of my doctor, dentist, etc. I am a parent & teacher and I would NEVER expect my child's teacher to give me their home number! That is outrageous! There are too many ways for a parent to get ahold of us if they need us. I want to focus on my family when I get home. I give 110% when I am at work. When I am at home I don't feel I need to deal with school issues. What kind of emergency would warrant a parent needing to call us at home anyway????? I can't think of a single one that could not wait until the next day!
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Absolutely Not.. Unless...
Old 08-02-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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Last year I worked in a private school and under no circumstances did I give out my home phone number (which is actually my grandparents #) nor my cell phone.

They did have all school contact info, as well as an email address that I checked nightly. I still had parents calling the school constantly...

That said, one of my co-workers had my cell number and gave it out to a couple of the parents toward the end of the year, even AFTER I asked her not too. Go figure...

There is NO way I intend to have parents calling at every waking (and sleeping) hour.

That said, I'm going back into the public school system and some of the schools strongly encourage/insist that parents have a way to contact you after school. In this case, I will purchase a second pre-paid cell phone and use it for this purpose.

My main numbers will not be given out, period, amen.
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No way!
Old 08-02-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I don't give mine out. Once I leave school, that's my own time with my own family.
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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I do give out my number. I haven't had any problems. Many parents won't ever use it, which is fine...but for those who want to, it is there. I would much rather have someone call me in the afternoon than in the AM at school and it really does help with the parent-teacher rapport, IMO. My main means of contact is via note home, but if a parent has a concern that is too wordy (or they are leery of written contact-some of them have limited literacy skills where I am) I want them to be able to contact me if they need to.

Plus...if you don't want to answer...you don't have to. Just return the call later.
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no way
Old 08-02-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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I would not give out my home phone. I also do not call from my cell or home phone. I spend enough time at school. I do plan to use email more this year. I also plan to do more phone calls than I have been doing.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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I do not give out my home number. I am at school way too many hours as it is and when I leave I do not want to talk shop with anyone. I give out my email and will answer that from home. I only had one principal that ever had a problem with this policy. All others have been very supportive because they see the time I put into my job at school.
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sometimes
Old 08-02-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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I give out to parents I trust: for field trips especially. I teach in low SES. No parent has abused it.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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I replied earlier in the "no" camp...Just another idea to consider...

Does your principal make their home number available to parents?

I 100% do not agree that I can't comment about open parent communication because I don't want parents to call me at home. My job description does not include being "on-call." I honestly can't think of any situation where an email or a VM on the school answering machine would not have the same result. Relative sick/funeral? Happens all the time, call the office or email me and request work. Question about homework? Sure...all the time. Email me first, if not, send me a note in the AM. I am more than happy to spend a few minutes in the morning to help Johnny understand how to do number 4. Suzy forgot her spelling words at school? I'm sorry, but you may not call me at home because your child made a mistake. She will see the consequences for that tomorrow. I actually think that I have very good parent communication. I am able to respond to emails very quickly, both during the school day and in the evening. I am always willing to call a parent back during my lunch or "special" or after school. I am more than willing to meet with a parent in the AM before school (I will always come in early for my parents that have a late schedule and can't conference in the afternoon.) With enough notice, I will even stay until 5 or 6 to meet with a parent (we are allowed to leave at 2:30) I have a class website that I update several times a week. I send a weekly newsletter home. I don't think that I am expecting too much by not wanting a phone call at home. I am not trying to be brat, but just as I respect a teacher's decision to give her number out; I would hope the same respect would be given for those teachers that would like some kind of privacy at home.

In addition...a person can easily look a home phone number up and then find a home address. I work in a rough area, where many of my kids have parents that are involved in things that I don't want any part of. We have had several instances of parents being verbally abusive both in person (at school, the grocery store) and on the phone. All it takes is 1 nut job to google your home number and then come to your house and kill you. Paranoid? Maybe. It's the one area in my life that I allow a little parinoia to enter my life. I really am an otherwise laidback kind of gal--but I have seen some crazy stuff happen at my school.
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Since many parents
Old 08-02-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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are not home during school hours, I need to call from home. The choice is my cell or my landline number which shows up on caller ID. I use the landline. Usually, parents don't take advantage of that. Last year, I had one parent who abused the opportunity and called for the smallest thing. "Is this paper due tomorrow?" "Tommy said he needed a picture on Friday?" Usually all information that was sent home in her child's weekly folder. Maybe 3 calls a week.
I haven't heard from her in 10 weeks now, though!
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Block your number
Old 08-02-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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There was one time, during my first year of teaching, that I called a parent from home and regretted it. It had nothing to do with her calling me or others getting my number as I blocked my number using *67. She beratted (sp) and belittled me. That was the worst night of my life. I was calling to discuss some concerns that I had and she turned it around to be all my fault. She preceeded to YELL at me until I told her that I needed to end this conversation. She must have called and left a message at the school because the next morning, as I was going to talk to the principal about the situation anyways, he told me that he had heard her message. I have never called a parent from my personal phone ever again. I don't need that kids of grief on MY time.
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As Public Employees
Old 08-02-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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our salary information is a matter of public record. In this day and age, they don't need a home number to find you. They have your name and where you work, if they really want to find you, they will, nut job with murderous intentions or not.

I give my cell phone out. Like DaisyLilli, I work in a lower SES district, most parents do not have email access, and I cannot call out of the building without going down to the office. I've only received a handful of calls in the five years since I started giving it out.
I don't answer when it's not convenient, and I'm very adept at turning the sound off at bedtime.

I will not give my home phone number out because I do not have the control over it that I have over my cell phone (ringer, volume, caller id, blocking, voicemail). Voicemail is a wonderful thing, but I only have it on my cell phone.

I want parents to trust me and that I am concerned about the well-being of their child. I want them to tell me that Luis didn't sleep last night and might be off today or that Marc is very anxious about the upcoming state test.

Because of the very limited opportunities for communication during my school day and at school - 2 phones with outside lines for 29 classroom teachers and 5 specialists and the office/administrative staff, giving out my cellphone number actually simplifies my work. I will continue to do it. If a particular parent become s a problem, I will stop answering their calls.

One colleague programs all her parents into her address book when school starts - I'll do that this year.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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I don't give out my home number. I use the same method my school email and home email address. When I'm at home it is time for my family. Time is limited as it is with meetings afterschool and church related activities. I always have my cell phone and can receive any email that they send to my home address. It also allows me the flexibility to handle right away or sit on it, before responding.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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I do not believe that parents need to have my home or cell numbers for "open lines of communication." We have a phone in my classroom, email;which I always check and respond to, comments in agendas/on beh.sheets, and a secretary in the office. I have only ever given my cell phone out once to a parent of an EBD student who had made leaps an bounds of improvement but still had some issues at home. Mom and I agreed that the relationship I had with him could help if he had a crisis at home. She only called me once.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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NO, I do not. I do not agree with the comment "I don't understand how anyone can complain about lack of parental involvement, and then not have open lines of communication." from a previous post. I stay after school almost every day so parents can call or e-mail and by the time I get home I do not feel I should have to spend even one minute on the phone with a parent. Just my opinion.
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Phone Number
Old 08-02-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I don't give my phone number to everyone, but there have been a few occasions when I have given it to parents. I debated on having my cell printed on my business cards, but opted not to. There have been a few times I've tried contacting a parent and wanted them to call me back when I wasn't going to be in the building and have left my cell number. Most of the time, though, I communicate via e-mail... I let parents know it's a much faster way for me to get back to them during the day.
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Sure...why not?
Old 08-02-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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I have given mine out every year and told parents and students to call if they need me. Sometimes they have important questions or have something I need to know.
Every now and then you get a parent who calls a few times too many but I would rather talk to them too much than not enough.
A PP said something about having the manager of Target's home number. I hope you have more of a personal relationship with your students parents than the manager of your local Target. I'm just sayin'....

It kinda makes me mad that we gripe on here about parents who won't get involved when we don't allow them every opportunity. Maybe the only time they can call is in the evening. Just something to think about.
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Phone Number
Old 08-02-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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I do give out my cell phone number and I have only had 2 parents abuse it. One parent would call for the dumbest things "my child left their lunchbox at school" etc. I finally stopped answering when she called and would let it go to voicemail. She would leave a message and I would email her back.

I did have a Dad who would text me on my phone- a little creepy- but he was pretty harmless.

One college professor told our class "Give them your number, if they are upset they are going to want to talk to someone and you're probably going to wish it was you".

I think it makes parents feel as if you are really in this thing together.

I also have a child who goes to my school and so our phone number is listed in the school directory. I live in the neighborhood I teach in so it is not uncommon to be walking my dog and see kids and parents from my school. I did have one parent ask me if she could have her kid come to my house after school because he was having trouble. I had to explain that it really doesn't work that way!!
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm listed in the phone book, but do not give out my cell phone number. If it's that important, they can get ahold of me at school.
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I sometimes use e-mail...
Old 08-02-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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but I don't have a problem if a parent calls me at home. I rarely have that happen. However, if I need to talk to a parent about a behavior problem, it's sometimes hard to call right after school, as they may still be working, and I won't call them at their work number to discuss something like that. So I sometimes wait until I'm at home after my DD is in bed. I have also called parents to ask them to bring in treats for parties, help with field trips, etc. I just think it's more personal than a note or e-mail.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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I like to keep work and home separate. This is a job and I am not on call 24/7. Yes I care about my kids and their families. It just feels too intrusive to have parents call me at home. My family already suffers a lot because of my job and the hours I keep. When parents have called me in the past they keep me on the phone a long time. To each his own, but I am working hard to keep a balance and feel I can meet the needs of my students and their parents without being so available.
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not for me
Old 08-02-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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I don't give out my home or cell phone number. I do give out an email address dedicated to school business only. I'm online all the time so it's usually the best way to contact me anyway!
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calls to me
Old 08-03-2009, 07:15 AM
 
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No way. They can email 24 hours a day but I'm not on call 24 hours a day. That's ridiculous.
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:52 AM
 
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I understand that email is convenient, but what about the parents who don't have computers? As I wrote in my earlier post, out of 20 students in my class last year, only 2 had computers.

** Also- we don't have voicemail or an answering machine of any kind for my school. If parents work, they have a very, very hard time reaching me during school hours. It depends on where you teach- the parents of my students have never given me a moment's irritation or trouble over calling me at home. If I can reassure a child or parent from my home phone about some issue or solve a problem, I am happy to do it and it often lessens any drama at school- things get headed off before they become big problems.

Last edited by NCteacher; 08-03-2009 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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That is the only way to create a flexible open relationship.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:30 AM
 
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I don't see any need to give out my personal phone numbers. If a parent can't send email, they can leave a message on the school's answering machine.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:32 AM
 
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I think the decision to give out your home phone number really depends on the population of your students and the age. I always give mine out and have never had a problem. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. It just depends on your school and situation.
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Personal Decision
Old 08-03-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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I have always included my phone # and cell # in my welcome letter and told parents when the best time to call is. I've taught over 30 years and have never had many home calls. It's really not been an issue for me and I would rather "nip problems" in the bud, if possible.

On the other hand, I can see people not wanting to give their home phone out.

As I said--it's a personal preference and I think we should respect others' views.
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I don't mind........
Old 08-03-2009, 02:32 PM
 
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At Open House, I give out my business cards with my plan times listed on them and encourage parents to contact me then. I do not give out my home phone or cell phone number, although my land line home phone number is in the phone book. I have had a few parents who call me at home over the years, and none have abused it. I do not mind discussing a problem or concern with a parent from home, and would rather "nip it in the bud" than let it fester. It is better at school, though, because I have access to their grades, discipline reports, etc.
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Not a problem for me
Old 08-03-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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I am listed in the phone book, so parents can contact me that way. However, I have also given my numbers (home and cell) to parents for over 20 years and I have never had a parent abuse the information. I have also had to contact parents in the evenings and have used my home and cell phones. I agree with one of the posters that sometimes it is better to talk to the parent as soon as possible about his/her concern and I have often warded off a major issue by having an evening conversation.
I think that every teacher has their students best interests in mind and should chose to give or not give based on his/her comfort zone.
I also think that the age of your students and the type of community you teach or live in can have a major influence on the decision to give your numbers out.
I live in a small rural area and everybody knows everybody anyway. :-)
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No Way!
Old 08-03-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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There are many in my district that give out their numbers. I do not for the simple reason that I called a parent once on my phone and they started calling me all the time for random things that either I did not really need to know or something that could have been taken care of with a simple e-mail, note, or phone call. I agree with an earlier post, that I do not have my doctors, dentists, or lawyers home phone. I work very hard and love my job, but I have a family and I think that when I get home that my job is to take care of them.
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I have
Old 08-03-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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and now I no longer do it. I am listed in the book, and parents can find me. I do talk to parents before and after school if needed, and will promptly return a phone call. I did have someone call me A LOT (I liked the parent...) but when she kept calling during the summer months too....well....anyway, I just quit.

I am a wife, mommy, maid service, cook, etc...after school, so I want that time to be with my own family
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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I have NEVER given out my phone numbers. We no longer have a landline so I don't give out my cell phone number.

Parents can call me at work, email me (and I check my school email when I get home in the evenings) or see me after school.

Like the PP I don't have my doctor's home phone number. I feel that I should be treated the same. Even though parents don't have my phone number I have a clse relationship to them. They appreciate my emails and the fact that I return phone messages promptly.

If I need to call parents in the evenings my cell phone number is blocked. When one parent asked for my phone number I gave him my school's email address and the school's phone number.

I like my privacy and want to feel safe.
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I don't
Old 08-04-2009, 04:03 AM
 
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give out my home phone number either or cell phone number. In all of my correspondence, I list the school's phone number and email address. However, it's amazing how they find out my home phone number and even my cell phone number. It's very frustrating!
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The only time...
Old 08-04-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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I give out my cell number is to parent volunteers during field trips. I haven't given out my home number, not to say that I never would. Parents haven't had a problem getting a hold of me, though sometimes when I return a call I have a problem reaching them.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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I don't offer my home phone or my cell phone, but I live in the town I teach and I'm in the book and I have an uncommon name, so I'm the only one. If they needed to talk to me they could, but many times I can't get parents to call me back when I call them.
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I do NOT allow
Old 08-04-2009, 02:45 PM
 
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parents to call me at home. I am very reachable though. My emails come to my phone and all the parents have my email address. Also if they need me they can call the school to set up an appointment with me to talk. I do not have kids and am not married so I make sure that I am always at work early and late everyday. I am also the chair of our Parent Teacher Organization so the parents always see me in those meetings or at events. Today most parents prefer to communicate through notes anyway so I make sure to respond to all notes promptly.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:35 AM
 
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I have given out my home phone number in the past in I have not had any problem. Maybe I have been lucky. For the most part, I think most people use commom sense and good judgement when deciding to call a teacher at home. I have the home phone numbers of my administrators and superintendent but I would certainly not call them at home unless it was of urgent importance. (I have never had to call their personal numbers to this date).

Now, with the availablitiy of email, I think I may encourage that as a primary means of communication because I can respond at my convenience.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:54 AM
 
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I gave mine out once.

I was getting two new kindergarten students the next day. Twins. As I was looking at their records, I realized it was their birthday on what would be their first day in my class. We had a really special birthday celebration routine, and I thought it would be worthwhile for the parents to know about it.

I called the home of the students mid-afternoon. No one answered. I left a message that I was the boys' new teacher, and that I wanted to tell them about some procedures and prepare for their birthday. "I am leaving school soon, so please call be at home after 5:30 and we can talk."

I KID YOU NOT. 12:45 AM MY PHONE RINGS.

Yep, it was the dad of those kids. They had all gone to some pop music concert and just got home. Can you just imagine what the rest of the year was like? Not an ounce of good judgment between the two parents!

I was stunned.

Now I request email. I do one quick last check of my email right before I go to bed.

Another time, one of my student's younger sister became suddenly very, very ill. The parent tracked me down (I lived in another town, but my number was listed under my last name with husband's initials). She felt that it was critical that she let me know what was happening with her family, and I agreed. They CAN find you!

I think the comment about not complaining about communication is unfair. This is my JOB, not my life. I deserve to have a few hours off at night, when I am free from my duties. I have children of my own and other things to do at home in the evenings. AND I would never call a teacher at home, whether the number was given to me or not.
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calls home from parents
Old 08-06-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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I feel it is an essential part of parent-teacher communication. I call every single parent in my classroom at least three times a year to tell them something that their child has successfully accomplished. Most of the time the parents are so shocked that a teacher actually called to give a good report. However, I will pick-up the phone (cell, home or work) in a minute to discuss misbehavior as well. I have had lots of parental support in the past.
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never again
Old 08-07-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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I gave out my cell number 1 year. It was a mistake. I now have a different number and an unlisted landline. Some of the parents had no problem calling me at all hours including 2 am when they got home. I encourage parents to email me and that works much better.
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nope
Old 08-08-2009, 06:14 AM
 
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I don't give out my number and parents don't really ask for it either. Many of them think I deserve a break in the evenings too. : ) I do try to check my email at night to address anything that might need to be taken care of immediately.
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Absolutely
Old 08-08-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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NOT! I would never give a parent my home or cell phone number. I do not want to talk to parents during my personal time. I am way too busy with my own children. It may sound harsh and unpopular for teachers to actually have a personal life, but we do.

I respect my students' family time, and I only want the same in return. I totally agree with KellyTeachTX (I teach in TX too) that there can be open communication with parents without having them invade our personal lives. When I get home, I don't even want to think about school.
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Nope not here!
Old 08-09-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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While I respect your choice to give out your number, I don't for several reasons: (And I should add, I realize that some people have had great success with sharing their number and I am glad it works for you!)

1. I am not on call.

2. I want to keep a balance between work and school. Having parents call me at home upsets that balance.

3. I cannot imagine a situation where a call to the school, note in the bag, meeting before school would not deal with the situation that a call home would require. If the situation were truly that awful, why is the child in school that day?

4. The expectations of teachers are already unreasonable in some places--nurse, cook, psychologist, teacher, parent...--- why create a 'you are at my beck and call' situation?

5. I have a great open relationship with my DR without having his home phone number

6. I teach in a very low SES area. Many without phones, computers, basic necessities. I do not want the 'Jamal won't come off the fridge, can you talk to him?' OR 'Ryan and Sarah just got apprehended by Social Services, could you talk with them they are very upset they can't stay with there mom even though they just watched her stab their dad' calls at home that I am already getting at work. Terrible situations that have happened to me, yes. But I am not everything to everyone always nor am I a social worker. I need me time to have something to give back.

7. Safety.

8. Harassing/yelling/abusive/parents are easier to document when their 30th call has come through the school.

9. I need to be able to leave school behind at some point. I have a life that is not work

Interesting post, love the different viewpoints!
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