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I do not allow current students to friend me on Facebook, but I have found it to be a wonderful way to keep up with former students. I teach Middle School and this year after 8th grade graduation, I received a flurry of requests from our newly graduated students. They sometimes ask questions about their current projects or just keep in touch.
Some current students know that I have a Facebook account and use the message feature to reach me. Others email me when they have a question.
I do not give out my phone numbers because it may not always be a convenient time to chat. Email allows me to respond thoughtfully as the situation requires.
I give students my home phone number (but not my cell number) and encourage them to call if they have questions about homework. This eliminates the "I didn't understand the question" excuse the next day because my response to that is "but you didn't call me". I have only rarely had a problem and that has usually been with parents,not students. They also contact me by e-mail. I don't friend students or parents on Facebook.
I created a Google Voice account two years ago that is a specific phone # that is forwarded wherever I want. (It rings both my cell & house phone right now.) I put this number at the top of my syllabus and make it clear it's for voice or text ( I get more texts on it from students ). Google makes it very easy to block a number if there's an issue, and it lets you listen in to voice mail when someone calls.
I am relatively transparents in who I am because if I can connect with students and build rapport beyond the classroom, the students want to work harder for me and try harder to not disappoint me.
While I use school communication channels I also use other tools for students to contact me. I have an alternate e-mail that is tied to work; a Facebook fan page that creates a barrier; separate Twitter and Edmodo pages. It is advisable to have alternate means of communication but make sure it does not cross over to your private life.
I teach physic and an EMT class. I give the EMT students a Google Voice number to contact me in an emergency when they are doing their ambulance ride-a-longs and hospital ER observations.
Every student has my school email which I check often (push email to my Palm Pre).
I also send info out to students through the class blogs which they are subscribed to via email.
It depends on the locale.... for cel/tel@ college yes.... @ HS ...no...
some of it has to do with expectation and access... HS kids see you everyday. I have a face book and a twitter and email...
I think I am available...
Students I find have very good understanding of Boundaries... Parents...unfortunately ...not so much!!!
I am more inclined to give my contact info to students for that reason...even at the college level!!
Since I am a special education teacher I tend to give my phone number to the parents if a reason for doing so comes up. I will give it to high school age students if they ask for it. For example, when I was picking up a girl for a choir concert because her mother had to work, I gave her my number. My phone number is listed. In a few cases we have shared email addresses, and if the information is confidential, I use my home e-mail.I have known some who would give out their cell number, but not their home phone, that being a good way to control calls. Plus the cell is not connected to an address, a good way to avoid early morning knocks.I think personal information should be given carefully on a need-to-know basis. If there is something about a teacher's life she does not want her kids to discuss, she needs to be real scrupulous. For example, I know a teacher in a conservative state who lives an hour away from her job in a different county. Part of her reason for not moving closer to her job is because she is gay and has a life partner. While this would not be a problem in less backward states, in this state it could have the fundamentalists foaming at the mouth and demanding she be fired, even though she has been with the system for many years. Her students have asked why she lives so far from her job and she is honest, telling them that she likes to keep her job and her personal life separate.
I aree with you. I provide a phone number and that is it. Because I am not listed, I don't worry too much about them finding out where I live. But I'm also very clear about the parameters of calling. Parents can have my number most of the time, but I do not give out my personal email as we have a very efficient contact system at school. I don't give out a cell phone number because I rarely turn it on!
Secondary Special Ed Teacher
My students have access to my school email which I can access 24/7. If they or their parents need to contact me after school hours, they can do so via email.
During the first week of class, I distribute a Class Description. It contains my personal e-mail address. If ever a parent asks for my home number, or a work schedule conflict prevents contact during regular prep-time hours, I hand it over, gladly.
Also, when there are special projects, each student gets my home phone number and e-mail. This makes sense to me, because not all of my students have access to the Internet and team disputes, for example, can be handled before class. 7:30 P.M. is the latest I will accept student calls (I have instituted, on a case-by-case basis, exceptions).
I always give my students and their parents my cell phone number and personal e-mail. I've done so for years, and have only received 1 prank call in all that time. I have, however, been able to provide support when students needed it, even when it was just because they were all alone after a move to Miami and they needed someone to say that they mattered!