Hi All. I'm pretty new to Proteacher and this board is usually my "release" after a long day. You guys rock! So I have a parent who asked for my home phone number today so she can call me after school hours if she has a question. I politely told her I don't give out my home number but she's welcome to email me and I will get back to her as soon as possible. I also told her that I do check my email on most nights and weekends. She proceeds to ask me if I can guarantee I will get back to her within 5 minutes after she sent the email. I said No I can't guarantee that but when I see it I will respond. She then tells me that is why she needs my home phone number because she'll need an immediate response. REALLY? She goes on to say that her daughter's former teacher at her old school gave her the number and that it makes for the best parent-teacher relationship. For a second, I wondered if I was being unreasonable and this other teacher had it right. Then I came to my senses. I work VERY hard. I give my students all I have to give during the school day. Then there is lesson plans, grading, etc. that is done at home. I REFUSE to have parents calling me during dinner and when I am spending time with my own children. I declined one last time and assured her that whatever arises we'll be able to take care of it the next school day. She left upset. I'm sure she'll be calling the Principal. Is this normal? Do you all give out your home phone numbers?
I do not want parents calling me at home. I can't imagine what kind of question needs such immediate attention. I wouldn't even email her back in the evening. She needs to contact you during school hours and you can respond during school hours. This is not a 24 hour a day job!
That is absolutely ridiculous and I would certainly hope your principal would back you up on that. I can't think of any emergency she would have that needs responding from her child's teacher in 5 minutes. You gave her a great response. Good luck to you with this one...sounds like she's going to be a handful.
You were right to not give her your home phone number. How dare she demand your immediate attention and response to her phone calls and emails. I am glad you stood your ground. She sounds like she is going to be a lot of fun to deal with this year.
No, no, no!!! I am unlisted. I would just reply to the mother, should she ask you again, that after putting in "X" number of hours at school, that your time at home is family time (or personal time) and you are sure she can appreciate that (especially if she works).
I am sure your principal will support you as s/he would not want parents calling her/him at night. If there is a problem with that, give the parent your principal's number! (Just kidding).
You have to wonder what these people are thinking??? Like one of the PP's said, would you INSIST your doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc. give you their home number for a response within 5 minutes? I just don't know where they get off asking for this...
I had a parent call me at home bragging that she got my number from some directory. She kept rambling on and on about teachers in the past. She wanted to tell me that she wanted to talk weekly after her dinner hour with her family. I told her that she could contact me at school and that I would speak to her before or after school. She stated that this was not convenient to her schedule. I got a new unlisted number. Good luck
This isn't normal, and I wouldn't do it. What could she possibly need to know that would be that urgent? Geez. If a parent got my number, which could certainly happen, I just wouldn't answer the phone. Caller ID is a wonderful thing. I kinda like Zipline's idea of giving her the principal's number, though!
I guess I'm one of the few (only one so far!) who does give out my phone number. I'm at a tiny private school and have only had 3 phone calls and this is my 5th year.
I'm in a rural county and it wouldn't be hard to find my number in the phone book, anyway.
I have never had a parent act like the parent in the OP. I might get an unlisted number if I do get one.
I'm at a tiny private school and have only had 3 phone calls and this is my 5th year.
I never used to give mine out, and then after Katrina we were asked to call all our students to see how everyone did (flooded homes, etc...). I used my cell phone so everyone had my number after that (caller ID) - that was at the beginning of the school year. Sure enough..... not long after that a parent called me in the middle of Sunday School to ask me a question that clearly could've waited until Monday. That confirmed it - I don't give out my number and I don't call from my cell phone.
In fact, I sent out an email to all my school parents after Isaac this time - rather than calling.
Heck no! They're not getting my phone number. It is in the phone directory, but I have Caller ID. I don't answer calls unless I know who it is and want to talk to them. Sometimes a parent will leave a message on my home phone. I answer the phone call the following school day on school time.
I do check my email at home, but I only respond during school hours. My contract hours are 7:50-3:20, and that's the only time I can guarantee them my availability.
It makes me wonder what the last teacher was thinking. Then again, she was probably bullied into it.I did mention that I when I am at home it's my time to spend with my family. She went on to say that she's not asking for a friend but this is for help for her daughter. I call this parent an EGR. That means Extra Grace Required. lol. I'm not looking forward to a whole year of this but I've decided not to let her get under my skin and to choose my battles with this one.
if I have to call on my cell (fieldtrip if school cell was not available) I would block my number. Stupid here made sunshine calls many years ago from home and started getting phone calls past eleven from a drunken and abusive parent...
NO! NO! NO! Never ever in the history of the world will ever again make that agregious error!
I gave a parent my cell number once, and she wore it out. I'd get texts all of the time about the smallest things. It'd be 6 in the morning and she'd text or call to tell me that her son coughed. I won't give my number out again.
You did very well sticking to your guns, and you were polite and professional. I think we will be hearing some interesting stories this year from you! In my district we need to respond within 24 hours of receiving parental contact, and that doesn't include days we're not in school. I check my school email at home, but only open emails other teachers or our principal. I open parent emails at school. Good luck with this one!
I totally agree with everything the OP said about that mom. She was beyond rude and demanding. And after school is family time. But I do give out my number. If someone calls me, and I don't want to talk to them, I just don't answer. My number is listed in the phone book anyway. But I often make phone calls about various things from home, and they'll see my number on caller I.D. anyway. I don't mind answering a question now and then, and maybe I'm just lucky, but in ten years I have never had a parent abuse my number. I get maybe three or four calls the whole year usually. I guess if there is something a parent is concerned about, I would rather hear about it before they've had time to get good and ticked off, and I sure don't want to be hit with something at the door first thing in the morning. I don't give my cell number though. I am a cheapskate on a pay by he minute phone - no contract. So it actually costs me money every time I answer my cell phone. Now that's where I draw the line!
I print mine in my back to school letter and send it home a couple of additional times, but I teach in a unique situation and there are legitimate reasons for parents to contact me outside of school hours. I've never had a parent abuse the privilege of having my home and cell numbers. I do, however, let calls go to voicemail then return them when convenient. Parents know I do this so they can feel free to call and leave messages or text just to relay information. Most of my parents don't have computers.
I am at school from 7ish until 5ish... I am available before school, lunch, and after school. If parents cannot do what they need done in that hour span then it can wait until the next day. I will make an exception for an unusual circumstance though but I open it at work.
My private life is my own. I have also made some rare exceptions if a parent has a marvelous history at the school- but rarely and that would be only my cell.
Catdog- I can see that giving it out to high maintenance parents could be good.
She needs to call her shrink! I would just say, "If you have a question about homework or anything else related to school, it can wait until the next day." You were nice enough to tell her you check your email on the weekends and evenings. I don't even say that! I will respond, but I don't actually tell them I check my email.
I would let her go to the principal. What's that person going to say? You have to give your phone number? I hope not.
I only give my phone number to parent volunteers who come on the zoo field trip at the end of the year. They walk in small groups separate all day, so I want them to have a way to get a hold of me if there's an emergency, someone is causing trouble, etc...so far it's never been an issue.
Even on field trips, don't give out your number. Teachers should leave their numbers with the office. Parents call the office if necessary. Office calls teacher if needed. Saves a lot of stuff from happening.
Guess I make two Multigrade. I have been teaching 20+ years and have given out my phone number every year. I have never had a parent abuse it, only ever had one student "prank call" me (my first year). Parents call, email, text, etc. I answer at my convenience. I can't guarantee anyone, including family, that I'd respond to anything in five minutes...lol.
I also give out my home phone number, school phone number, and school email address so that parents are able to contact me if they need to. No parent has ever abused having my phone number and I would rather speak to parents myself if they perceive a problem rather than have them call the principal. Usually, we are able to come up with a solution together. They are only allowed to call before 7:00P.M. in the evening though. I usually have about one call per month and have never had a mean call in the 32 years that I have been teaching. Parents are usually worried about their children when they call and I would want to be able to talk to the teacher if I were worried about my child.
Teaching is a job. I don't have my doctor's, nail stylist's, dentist', mailman's, trash man's, etc... home phone/cell phone, to speak after hours.
I let a parent know that I can be contacted during my work hours of 7:40-3:10, and that's the only time to contact me. I check my email on the weekend too. One time I had a parent send me 3 emails on the weekend and complain when I didn't read it right away. I also let parents know that when teachers check their emails over the weekend, it is a COURTESY, as that is not during their work hours, and is not a guarantee of a response.
As much as I love teaching, it is my job with certain work hours and that is that. You have my work phone for those hours and nothing else.
No I refuse to give my number to parents. There must be a line drawn in order to maintain a professional relationship. I am not their friend or their hired help. I find it manipulative for any adult to think that someone else should be available to them in a moment's notice.
Has a doctor ever given out his/her home phone number? NO
We are expected to contact doctors, lawyers, banks, store managers, restaurant owners, etc. ----- everyone!!! during their business hours.
None of them would give their number so that we can call them at night for a personal immediate response. And no one would expect them to.
My school has worked on home-school communication as an area of improvement for a few years, and our policy is: parents can expect emails or phone calls to be returned within 24 hours/next business day at the latest.
with the poster who said she needs to call her shrink! Ha ha! Good call.
I would not only be communicating with her via email, I would keep every single one she sent me, or I sent her. This one is a nut job, it sounds like, and you very likely are going to need that documentation.
I suggest you set up a Google Voice number. It's free and links to your phone. You can send/receive texts, set up a voicemail, and make/receive calls. You can listen to voicemails on your phone or online, and **all messages are saved forever!** It tracks the times and lengths of all calls. You can save numbers, type notes, etc. I use it as my parent call log now.
When a parent calls after business hours, I simply don't answer if I don't want to. It rings up as 'Google Voice' on my caller ID so I know it's a school call.
I think people forget that just because your phone rings doesn't mean you have to answer it. Let it go to voicemail and call back when convenient. I often call businesses after hours and leave a voicemail with my request and return number so they can call me when convenient, and I treat school calls the same way.
I am required to give out my phone number. It is published in the school's directory. (Private school) I'm getting a cell phone soon, but that number will only be given out to friends and family, and I will never call parents from it.
I do try to nicely tell parents that e-mailing me is the best way to communicate, but I only respond to e-mails during the hours that I am at school. I don't check my school e-mail once I'm home.
However, on a different note, I do give out my cell#. I work in a low income school and most parents are not "helicopter" type parents hovering over everything. Parents occasionally call me at night or before school in the morning if there's a big issue, but that is pretty rare, like once every 2 weeks or so. Our principal gives out her cell # too. I do tell parents in advance though, that I will get back to them within 24 hours. Most of the time I let their calls go to voicemail and then decide when I'll get back to them.
to give mine out... I have had two parents in my 14 years abuse it. I do tell parents I may not be available, but I will always respond within 24 hours.
Anyone who expects a response within 5 minutes must have a big ol' bowl of crazy flakes for breakfast every morning...
I have also given out my home phone number. I teach in a very small community. So to answer your question of do you call your doctor at home: yes we have and like others don't abuse it. However, when an emergency arises we have been able to contact our local doctor, dentist, banker (had checks stolen while on vacation), etc. after hours, on the weekend or a holiday.
I have not had a parent abuse this use, but rather we have been able to work out what could have turned into a troublesome issue. I understand people who don't want to pass out their phone number....absolutely no judgement here. However, I think it all depends on your school community situation.
I don't live in a small community, but I've had doctors that do give out their home number but it's expected that patients don't abuse it. I've only used it once. Not all doctors do, but many will if it's a specific circumstance, but the underlying rules is that it is not to be abused.
I guess some parents feel like you have their number so why can't they have yours.
However, having said that, I would never give out my number. My parents don't know the definition of not abusing it!
I would never do this. I would not want to be harassed by an upset parent or student. We were specifically told not to give our home phone number on our school webpage. I very strongly feel like there's a zone of privacy, and when you're off, you're off. I don't even call parents from home because I don't want our number to show up on a caller i.d.
We're in the phone book, but no one has ever called us at home. Our school does a good job of setting boundaries. Parents are not even allowed in the hallways or anywhere but the office during the day. I wanted to slap a woman who went to a colleague's room after school to berate him about something or other. Many of my colleagues have to leave school directly after the final bell or within fifteen minutes to pick up their children.
Rest assured----the really good parents would follow protocol and call during school hours or email. If they didn't get a hold of you, they'd try again or leave a message. I strongly believe that the only ones who would call you at home are the psychos. (pardon the brutal honesty)
I answered a call from a parent using my cell phone last year. After that, she called me at least once a week, many times during class. Of course I didn't answer during class, but she never got the hint. Another parent got my cell phone number a few years ago. I took a week to go see my granddaughter in another state when she was born. This parent called me, knowing I was gone and why. I didn't answer the call, and she called the principal and the superintendent to complain.
As others have said, do not give out your home number. Once you've left for the day, I wouldn't even worry about responding to an email, unless you really want too. Usually, there's nothing that important that can't wait until the next day.
NEVER give your numbers to parents!!!!!!! When I call parents from my cell phone, I block my number by first dialing *67. If they need me, they have email and school number. I don't have the home numbers for my doctor, lawyer, etc. Why should we not be treated like the professionals we are??!!! Think about it. WE serve the children. We are not on-call 24/7 for their parents.
- When we go on a field trip, I tell the parents to call school if there is an emergency and they will contact my cell number
- If a principal were ever to insist upon it, I would give out THEIR cell phone number with directives that the principal would need to discern if the call was important enough for the principal to call me and I would then call the parents.
- Folks, when you make an isolated decision like this to give out your number, you have also set a precedent for your coworkers who have better sense than you do. They are now cast in the role of "insensitive" when they refuse to hand out their own phone info. Learn to work as a team!
Unless the district gives me a phone and pays the bill, they have no right to require that. A person's private number, that they pay for themselves, is not the possession of the district and they have a real nerve requiring that. I'd check with the union on that one.
Folks, when you make an isolated decision like this to give out your number, you have also set a precedent for your coworkers who have better sense than you do.
My situation is apparently nothing like yours. I'm in a small private school and don't feel pressured to give out my number, but I do. I rarely get calls, as I've already stated. I may regret that someday but don't right now. It's 'funny' that those who don't agree are labeled as not having any sense.
Those are my thoughts exactly!! If we don't agree to not give out our phone numbers, we are "isolated" and set a precedent for those who have "better" sense. Actually, as I have said before, I have been teaching for over 30 years and have given my phone number out EVERY one of those years. I wouldn't exactly call that "precedent-setting." No parent has ever abused it and I don't mind speaking to the parents of the children that I teach if they need information or if they are concerned about something. If others don't want to give out their phone numbers, that is totally their perogative. Whether they are labeled as "insensitive" or not is of no concern to me.
I used to work in a private school and we were required to give out our home numbers. They were published in a directory. I did rarely get calls at home, but no one ever took advantage of the situation. According to the head, most private schools do this? I don't know if he was right or not, but this is the justification we were given.
When I was a new teacher, I did give out my home phone number. If a parent called with a concern, it became tricky to maneuver around my family (they were never quick one minute calls!) My daughters could "connect the dots" really well, and they had no business knowing about student matters. I tell parents that I have a professional obligation to protect confidentiality and I can not be assured of doing that if I am conducting school business at home.
but last year I wished I hadn't. I never had any parents abuse it, but last year I had one parent who would call late at night or on the weekends with the most trivial, stupid things. Like, what kind of dry erase markers do you like?? Or, I'm still looking for a nap mat. >( Needless to say, I screened all her calls from that point on. So in the future, probably I would not. Email works just fine.
I decided to give out my cell number. Midyear I began receiving random texts from a parent. Received a nude picture early one Sunday morning that was meant for his girlfriend (he was married). I responded to both he and his wife (accidently of course) and then promptly changed my number.
Absolutely not!!!! I taught at a mothers day out program last year, and it was very very afluent parents, who were super involved. I had no idea if they would abuse it if i gave out my number so I didn't. I wouldn't even give out my cell. All the other lead teachers did, but I didn't. I wanted my personal time to be my time. However after getting to know the parents, they were all so nice that I doubt they would've abused it if I gave them out my number. But I think its good to keep your home number private.
number. But in the last couple of years I have given out my cell number to parents that I know won't abuse it. I don't give it to the entire class. I guess that is being discriminatory but there are parents that will abuse it. I haven't had any problems with parents abusing since I "censor" who I give it to. I DO give all my parents my personal email address because I do not check my school email once I leave school. The one thing I do love about having my iPhone is that my email comes directly to my phone. So when they email I can usually get back to them quickly. If it is something that I can handle not being at school. I haven't had any parents abuse that either. I do know that there have been times with my own kids that I wished I could find out exactly what they wanted when my child was confused on homework. A quick email to the teacher would have been great.
I DO give out my number. I teach in a small rural community 50 miles in every direction from the next town. I most certainly give out my home number but rarely get calls. I also check my email several times a day and tell parents to email and I usually can get back to them within the hour. The first thing I do when I get up is check emails and last thing before bed.
And by the way...I also have my Doctor's home number and have called her when needed! We are a small town!
It does not help that everyone in town knows each other. I am also the minister of one of the local churches so I always give out my number to people. Guess I am in a unique situation.
Like Multigrade explained above, I do but only because I work at a small country school and I only have a few students anyway. I only had 2 calls last year and I have voice mail so they can leave a message if I am busy. The calls only took a minute of my time.
If I had any more students or worked in town I surely would agree with the rest of you.
I give them my cell phone and encourage them to text me during the day. I'd much rather have a text saying they need to pick up their child early than having the office calling my room in the middle of a lesson to disturb it.
Also, I want to know if there is an issue. Like the kid's cat died that morning. Whatever. Texting is so easy.
Well I work in a small town and I've taught for a long time, so I really wouldn't mind if they called me in the evening.
I also encourage them to email me. That works so well. My experience has been that the parents are very respectful. I love the email because it's so much easier to say your child has misbehaved in email than phone. I have found the parents respond better too.
You are 100% right about this one! Stand your ground. As teachers we work very hard, and most teachers I know put in more than the standard hours into our job. I don't think it is fair for a parent to expect us to be available 24 hours a day. If you don't set your boundaries from the beginning and then stick with them, it sounds like this parent will take advantage of you. If she does get your phone number using other means, there is always caller ID..use it!
I don't have a home number, but I do give parents my cell phone number with an explanation that I work another job until 7:00. They can leave me a message or text me, and I will get back in touch.
This has never been a problem (and I've had some CRAZY parents), and most of them send me a text or email first. The benefit of having a cell is that you can see the number and choose to answer or not. If they don't leave a message, I don't call back period. If the message is something that can wait for the next day, I don't call back either.
It's your call. If your gut says, "NO" then don't do it. She sounds a little obsessed
I work at a school where the issue, unfortunately, is that I often CAN'T get a hold of parents. for this reason, I make both my personal email and cell # available. my kids can be involved in some really scary and sad situations, and I always appreciate the parents, guardians or group home leaders calling my cell to let me know. texts from parents have really saved both my teaching and classroom management in many cases. it's also good for parents who work 2 jobs or odd hours to be able to get back to me when if i called their number during normal teaching hours (7 to 5 for me) their phone would just ring and ring.
but in this situation? i think you were absolutely right to draw this boundary. when i was the head of an after school site for wealthier families, I preferred not to give out my number. i learned the hard way that once I did, some parents would feel entitled to call me about every little thing.
First instinct as a new teacher is to really put oneself out there for students & parents, but sometimes its to have folks walk on you. Stick by your guns and your principles regardless of what some parents may try to guilt you into. If she approaches you again, and most likely she will, just smile and respond with something like "Its wonderful that your child's former teacher shared his/her number with you, but I make it a practice to not do that." You do NOT have to justify your stance with that parent or any parent.
If a parent insists that they need to speak with you directly, they have every opportunity to communicate with you via e-mail, message at school, volunteer in class, or a parent/teacher conference in class or after school.
If this woman persists, just point her towards the main office. If anyone on your campus tries to make you feel guilty and says, "just give it to her." DON"T. You derserve to have your privacy and quiet time with your family on your time. And don't feel guilty for doing so, guard it, guard it to the point that you don't give out your address, phone number and even go to the length of unpublishing your home number and address; that is what I do.
Remember, we are here to teach and to serve our community & children--we are not their servants.
I live in a small city. My number is in the phone book, so it is no secret. In 20+ years I haven't experienced any negative phone calls at home.
If I lived in a large city I might try to keep my privacy as you may never see your parents unless you want to be seen. Whereas in a smaller center all I have to do is step out my door and I run into parents and students.
I feel the 5 min thing is a bit crazy as if I am not home they still can't contact me anyways. (No i do not give out my cell number.) Give her time I guess and she will breath, relax and take a chill pill.
In fact, I think the school may even list teacher numbers. (Although I imagine if we asked them not to, they wouldn't.) I encourage parents to contact me if they have a question. We are a small private school. I tell the parents when the best time to contact me is. I don't think I've ever had a parent abuse the privilege. I'm usually out in front after school so most ask questions then. Some e-mail. A few text. In fact, they rarely ever call--and never late at night or early in the morning.
That being said, I think teachers have every right not to give out their number. If I had a family at home, I'd probably feel as you do. I think it's a personal preference.