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40 Hour Workweek

Uncategorized   |   May 5, 2014

Should teachers give their cell numbers to parents?

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Should teachers give their cell numbers to parents?

By Angela Watson

One of my favorite things to do on the blog is to pose questions about various issues in education, including controversial topics, and read the viewpoints of teachers from across the world.

Over the years, we’ve talked about whether teachers should complete school work during holidaysuse collective punishment, and sell the materials they create. We’ve discussed when does “boring” mean “unnecessary” within the context of curriculum and whether schools should buy technology that teachers don’t want. We’ve also debated whether principals should honor parent requests for specific teachers and if the toughest kids should be assigned to the best teachers.

Touch screen mobile phone, in hand on white

Today I’d like to see what your thoughts are on giving out your mobile phone number to your students’ parents. To make it easier and faster for more people to participate, I created a multiple choice survey, but I’m not collecting this data for any purpose other than discussion on the blog.

Take the one question survey below and see how other educators voted. Then leave your comments below if you’d like to explain your opinion. Thanks for participating!

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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  1. I was against it for a long time after a bad experience-that was before texting though. Just now started to give it out again. I do put limits on it, especially because they will call or text during the school day and I am not one of those teachers who has their phone out all the time-so I might not see that Johnny wasn’t supposed to ride the bus, etc. I really haven’t had anyone actually use it these past 2 years besides the occassional text asking if they are supposed to wear their uniforms for pictures or something like that. So I’ll continue to do it.

  2. I’ve worked in private schools for 20 years, and our phone numbers have always been given out in the annual membership phone book. We’ve never had the choice to opt out.
    Generally, I’ve found that parents haven’t called too often, although sometimes it happens late in the evening or on Sunday. There are times I just let the answering machine get it.
    In later years we’ve had email, and I’ve found that to be helpful. I don’t check it during the day, so if it’s an urgent issue they have to go through the school office. I can also choose when to answer.

  3. I’ve been teaching for 20 years and have never wanted my home (or now cell) phone available for parents. I give 100% of myself to school during the day. I want my time at home to be for myself and family as much as possible. I do work at home because there is always something that needs to be finished, graded, etc., but I just don’t feel the need to have my time spent on the phone with parents at home.

  4. I think it depends on a number of variables including whether or not it’s the only phone you have. I still have a land line so my cell phone is off unless I want to be available. The population and parents with whom you work might also make a difference. Some parents abuse the privilege. Personally, I find it very helpful to be able to text my students’ parents and receive texts from them. Just like anyone else, texting is sometimes the best way to keep in touch. I’ve even texted a parent during school to address a situation that was occurring. It was great to deal with it in real time!

    1. Remind101 is also a great tool that uses a random number and you can pinpoint who you want your messages to go to or you can send out a broadcast message. It is a fantastic tool!

      1. Yes, I agree that Remind101 is a fantastic solution, as well as Google Voice which allows you to receive voicemail messages for free without giving out your cell number.

    2. I’ve used Remind101 in the past also, but I may try Celly next year. It allows you to also receive text messages from your students and parents, but they never get your phone number.

  5. It really depends upon the situation, but as a general rule, I would say no. I taught in a small private school before cell phones and e-mail. I made my phone number available then. Since then, I have taught in a large public school district and have been contacted via e-mail by a couple of rather threatening parents. I would not want them to ever have my cell phone number because of a concern of harassment. They easily contacted me via e-mail and if they wanted to talk, I would want to be at the school with other staff present if it was via school phone number or personal meeting.

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