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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 is a National Board Certified educator with 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach. She started this website in 2003, and now serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Truth for Teachers...
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  1. In my experience teaching middle school, I think it is inappropriate to give students my personal cell phone number. I want to form close connections with my students, but you need that boundary between work and your personal life. I prefer e-mail or Remind101, which allows teachers to text their students a one-way text without the students ever seeing their teacher’s phone number, and the teacher never sees students’ phone numbers. It’s also free! It’s also a great way to contact parents and send them reminders. Especially helpful on field trips — you can easily roundup students and parents by safely sending a text.

  2. As a sponsor for Mu Alpha Theta there are several times a year when we travel out of town for math tournaments. I give my phone numbers to parents and ask for theirs – in case of an emergency. I also give my number to those students who are participating in the tournaments in case they have to reach me during the tournament. In the past six years I’ve never had a student or parent misuse that privilege / information. However, I do not give out my numbers (cell or home) to parents in general. They can email me at any time, and I call them from school (during planning, lunch, or before / after school, depending upon what time is best for them) if they need to speak with me on the phone.

  3. I’m in a 1:1 school and it was often necessary for parents to call me concerning tech issues, so yes, I give out my contact info. Our iPads are on warranty that if anyone outside of the school should try to “fix” an issue, the warranty is void. I’ve had a couple of situations where parents have called and we’ve avoided that issue.
    Also, teaching in an 1:1 environment, accessibility has become 24/7. Feedback to students and questions from students and parents happen at all hours.
    Last thing. Some seemingly threatening emails are really just temporary misunderstandings that are quickly diffused by listening to a voice versus reading between the lines of a poorly written email. I would much rather hear when a parent is actually frustrated than to try and infer that through email.

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