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Giving cell phone number to parents?
Old 05-05-2018, 08:26 AM
 
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I am heading back to the classroom next year after being a Title I teacher for several years.

Many teachers give their cell phone numbers to parents as a way of communicating by call or text.

I don't want to do this. I don't give my cell phone number to very many acquaintenances, much less parents. I don't want them to be calling or texting me at any time of the day or night.

Does anyone NOT give their number to parents? How do you communicate otherwise? I think I'm going to stick with email and school phone number.


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Old 05-05-2018, 08:36 AM
 
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I don't usually give out my cell number. This year I have two students with chronic illnesses--those two moms have my cell number so they can text me if their child takes a turn for the worse. They have been respectful of my personal time. I use email, Remind, and make phone calls, and use Seesaw to communicate with parents.
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Don't!!!!
Old 05-05-2018, 08:53 AM
 
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I made that mistake many years ago.

A parent called me at 6:30 A.M.! She knew I wasn't going to be there because of a workshop. It was not an emergency.

When caller ID became available i purchased a cell phone so if needed i could call a parent from home. It was never turned on except when I made the call. Much more peaceful that way.

Unless you are required to (hopefully not) don't do it. You deserve down time. Email, IMO, still lets parents contact you, as well as the school number.
All it will take is one irrational, very angry parent to completely ruin a perfectly lovely evening to make you regret making your number available.

The one exception I made was when a student had special needs, medical or otherwise.
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:45 AM
 
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Nope, no way, not happening. I only communicate with parents through school channels to avoid open records problems. I call from the school phone, send a Remind from my school issued device, or E-mail from my school issued device.
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:56 AM
 
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I didn't even give mine to my principal for a couple of years.

THey don't pay the bill and I am not using it for work purposes. You really don't know what someone is going to consider an emergency and I don't want to be available 24 hours a day.

I will never give mine out and I live in the same community my school is in. I don't text people. I wouldn't for any reason.


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Old 05-05-2018, 10:45 AM
 
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I never gave my unpublished home phone nor my cell phone number to parents. School email and school phone provide 2 methods of communication and that should be plenty. You don’t want parents calling at all hours and on your weekends/vacation weeks. There is always that one parent....
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No way
Old 05-05-2018, 10:54 AM
 
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I do not give out my cell number to parents nor do I call parents using my cell.

Many teachers check their email on their own personal cell phone but I do not do that either. Many people do not realize that were there ever a problem, whether it is what you said in an email or if you just happened to be copied on the email, a court could confiscate your phone and put into evidence anything you may have on your phone.

In fact, it is probably not in our best interest to do anything related to school on our own personal devices. But we do so anyway.
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Old 05-05-2018, 11:08 AM
 
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I use Remind for texting and parents love that convenience. I can send last minute messages out and that has saved lots of aggravation. Parents do not see my cell phone number,the messages can be translated and parents can text back. Word count is limited and parents do not expect an immediate response because I told them that was not possible . Parents are on their phone a lot and I find it is easier to text than to make notes or send email. Many of my parents have phones but do not have computers at home.
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Old 05-05-2018, 11:09 AM
 
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Nope!

I have a Remind account, and parents can use that to contact me.
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Remind?
Old 05-05-2018, 11:42 AM
 
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I'm assuming Remind is an app? How does it work exactly?


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Old 05-05-2018, 11:54 AM
 
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I don't give my cell phone number out as a matter of habit but from time to time I've given it out after getting to know a parent and I trust they won't abuse it.

I've also used a Google voice number to call parents so they don't end up with my number.

Additionally I use a communication app. This year I'm using Bloomz. I can message parents without them having my number. I think you can set the hours that you can receive messages. I haven't done that since I don't mind the occassional late or early message but it's a nice option.

I understand when teachers don't want to use personal devices as a matter of principle and we have been cautioned against it by our district. However, for me, convenience trumps the risk.
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Use Remind
Old 05-05-2018, 12:22 PM
 
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You can set office hours and the system is efficient. I do not give out my personal information at all.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:25 PM
 
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Remind is a free app that you download . You set up your class and parents enroll by accepting the invite. The invite is made by the app for you to print out and send to parents. You can send single messages to parents or whole class messages to everyone. The character count on the messages I think is 250.
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Agree with KahluaBlast
Old 05-05-2018, 12:25 PM
 
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The district has not provided me with a cell for work purposes as they have administration. If they want me to have a cell phone for work purposes, they will provide one.

DH didn't give my personal cell # to the Princ. when it was requested, either. Yay, DH!!!!

Also, seconding sevenplus- I use Bloomz. The app protects me and I can set "office hours" for the messaging portion.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:40 PM
 
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I used to, but parent shabe become way more demanding and unreasonable and seem to think we should be available 24/7. Also, with the availability of Remind and Dojo it’s not necessary.
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No way
Old 05-05-2018, 02:51 PM
 
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I never give my number out but I LOVE Remind. Parents actually read texts (unlike newsletters) and it’s great to be able to send quick reminders. It’s also great to be able to send out a “we did _____ today” to help parents talk with students about what’s happening at school.
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No!!!
Old 05-05-2018, 03:08 PM
 
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I use my school gmail. They all check their email on their phones, so no need to text.
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Other choices
Old 05-05-2018, 07:56 PM
 
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https://www.classmessenger.com/

I have used Class Messenger, Remind and the new (this school year) Seesaw messaging feature. IMO, all are better choices than giving out your personal number.
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Nope
Old 05-05-2018, 08:27 PM
 
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Don't do it. You're work email is more than sufficient.

We have the right to keep our private and work lives separate. If you give them a personal number, you are blurring that line.
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If need be
Old 05-05-2018, 11:01 PM
 
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and it's THAT important, you can always get a FREE google phone #; I did that for my business account, it's great. You can then just check it whenever you feel like it (if I remember, you get an email saying someone called, but it's been forever since I haven't done anything in a couple years) Then Google has it transcribed for you, so you read their message.

I'm pretty sure there is a way for you to call back using your phone but having the Google # come up, I could be wrong since it's been MANY years...

But I second Remind, the only down to that is getting parents to participate...
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:32 AM
 
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I am going to be the odd man out here..

For years I never gave my cell phone number out to parents. However, I began gigving it out, to select parents (normally around 5-7 each year), about 4 years ago.

Personally, it makes my life so much easier. I have NEVER had a parent take advantage and never even had one call, always text messages. It’s much easier for me to quickly answer a quick text message than it is to have to make a phone call and I wouldn’t get to email as quickly. I also find text messaging less intrusive though because I can choose to answer immediately or respond at a more convenient time.
I can also send a quick message... “your child isn’t feeling well” or “your child forgot their lunchbox” and get a quick response. For working parents, many can answer a text but not necessarily answer a phone call while they’re at work.
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:36 AM
 
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Quote:
It’s much easier for me to quickly answer a quick text message than it is to have to make a phone call and I wouldn’t get to email as quickly. I also find text messaging less intrusive though because I can choose to answer immediately or respond at a more convenient time.
. I really don't want parents to even think that I can or want to respond to messages sent during the day while I am teaching. . Takes the responsibility away from the students for many things, too.

Quote:
I can also send a quick message... “your child isn’t feeling well”
Our nurses job, not mine.

Quote:
or “your child forgot their lunchbox”
. Takes away the logical consequence of having to buy lunch and the student's responsibility to remember lunch box tomorrow.
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Never
Old 05-06-2018, 06:38 AM
 
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I have never given out my cell number. I use Bloomz which is similar to Remind. It is available on an app or you can use it as a website on the computer.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:29 AM
 
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Remind is good choice for older groups.

I personally like Bloomz for the elementary crew. It’s similar to Facebook but totally private. You use it as an app on your phone or desktop via internet. Parents can “text” via the app and so have no need for your phone number!
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:40 AM
 
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Most parents of the students that I teach don't even have the same phone number for more than two months at a time so it would be impossible to keep up with which parent is calling and they don't feel a sense of urgency to provide updated information when they get a new cell number. Half of my students don't even know their parents phone number so why should their parents know mine? God forbid an actual school emergency happens... we would have to send a Facebook message or something just to alert the parents. Its really quite sad!
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cell phone
Old 05-06-2018, 11:19 AM
 
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I don't give mine out. The year of the Katrina hurricane, I called families to see how they were and they got my cell phone number. One of the moms called me in the middle of Sunday School to ask me a question that could've waited until Monday. I knew then I wouldn't give it out any more.

However, I've given mine out this year to a great-grandmother who has custody and doesn't use email but uses texting. She hasn't misused it at all. She'll text me to remind me to send a doctor letter every month for her son to continue getting his meds, so she has a valid reason to have my number.

Otherwise, I use notes, email (mostly), and the school phone (rarely) to keep in touch.
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Old 05-06-2018, 04:12 PM
 
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Teaching elementary school there is a balance with teaching responsibility and them still being young.
I know it’s easier for me to send a quick text to my child’s teacher then having to call the school and hope I get ahold of somebody or send an email they may not see until hours later.

Yes, we have a nurse. However, any time the clinic is closed the child could sit up in the front office for a very long time before being attended to. If I can contact a parent and handle it quicker myself I will, depending on what it is.

If a child has no money already in their account or they owe money already they will be given a cheese sandwich in our school. Not a grilled cheese... a piece of cheese between two slices of bread. Again, if I know the parent is home a quick text can save a child from that. Even as an adult I forget things sometimes... only I can leave the building during lunch and quickly grab something to eat. A child can’t.

Again, it’s not for everybody but over half of the teachers at my, large, school DO give out their number. Personal preference.

Some teachers use the messaging feature through Class Dojo as that’s their behavior system.
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:02 PM
 
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No, I've never given out my cell phone number to parents, not even on a field trip.

There has only been ONE instance that I gave a parent my personal cell phone number. My student (her daughter) was diagnosed with cancer and was out of school from January to the following August. I ended up tutoring her when she was out of the hospital. Mom was able to text me updates on her condition.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:49 AM
 
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Wow! Thanks for all of your feedback. So much food for thought! I like the thought of using an app to communicate.

I appreciate all of your opinions and recommendations. Thanks again!
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Do you want a life?
Old 05-09-2018, 07:02 PM
 
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I taught a long time. Never had a phone in my classroom. If I had to contact a parent I used an office phone or sent a note.
The one time I did use my cell phone was to contact some parents about picking up their PK's, (It was 6:30 pm and they were 30 minutes late.) I didn't know that I was calling a cell phone-so when no one answered, I assumed that they were on their way and hung up.
Several nights later at about 2:30 am I received a call on my cell by an extremely drunk and irate mama accusing me of sleeping with her man. I told her that I didn't even live in the same county and she could go to hell. (Yes, I know that my response was unprofessional and wrong.)
My point being, the parents of your students do not own you! The district does not pay you enough to be on call 24/7! You deserve the same respect given to any other professional. Try calling your attorney, accountant, or plumber after hours and be prepared to pay big time.
Should you choose to divulge your private cell information, do not be surprised if your parents do not take egregious advantage of you.
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