A new level of personal.

A while ago, Rachel at Progressively Unnecessary asked how personal was too personal - as in, would you give students your cell phone number and allow them to text you. At the time, I said that I had a couple of students who had my cell phone number but just for setting up or rescheduling meetings (I mentored both).

As of today, that's going to change.

As of today, about 25 kids will have my cell phone number.

I'm taking those 25 kids on a field trip this Saturday and I want their parents to be able to get in touch with us during the day if needed, so I'm sending home my cell phone number. And while we're on the field trip on Saturday, I want those kids to be able to get in touch with me in case they get separated (we're going to a conference and people will be in a bunch of different places. Two other teachers are going too, but I'm leading the trip so I figure I'm the one whose contact info should go out).

I'm mildly nervous about this. They're all good kids and they're all (reasonably) trustworthy....but that doesn't mean they won't think it's exciting to have a teacher's number.

We'll see how it goes. I'm torn between not making a big deal out of it, you know, just being like, "So here's my number in case you need it," and between having the conversation about how I'm trusting them here and asking them not to abuse the information and keep it to themselves and use it only if needed and stuff. I'm leaning towards the former as a group, and then the latter if it becomes an issue with an individual student. Does that seem reasonable?

What a strange milestone in the life of a teacher - distributing your cell phone number. That was not something my grandmother dealt with when she taught high school English (though she did teach in her own community - plenty of her students knew exactly where she lived).

(Image credit to woodleywonderworks)


Ricochet said...

I routinely give out my cell phone number to my classes (not home, just cell) and to their parents.

I teach kids who do not do well in math and want them to have help when they need it.

Several have asked "don't you get prank calls?" Never.

Rachel said...

Yikes! I can understand how that's scary! At least, though, parents have the numbers; it's not like you're giving it directly to students, excluding parents. I think because of that, kids will be less likely to abuse it. Your idea to handle it as not a big deal unless necessary is a good one, just because it might be one of those things that they wouldn't otherwise think about...until someone mentions it as forbidden. lol

My edu classes in school and new-teacher-county-support really drove home the dangers in teaching secondary schools, and I'm a paranoid person in general soo...therein lies my freaking out about personal boundary lines with students. If it were me, I might consider getting a prepaid cell phone to give out just for the purpose of the day. (and hey a work cell phone is a tax write-off!) But I'm pretty paranoid.

La Brown Girl said...

I agree, don't make a big deal about it.

I think it's cool that you are giving them your number. The longer I teach, the more I feel like Ricochet. I want my kids to learn, why not give them every single avenue to get the help they need.

teachin' said...

Ricochet, I think I might go with that next year. Make it just business as usual, and no big deal.

I did have one of my little darlings send me a text pretty much right away (it said, "I'm watching you." Which could seem creepy, but I thought it was funny as he WAS actually watching me since I was in front of him on a fieldtrip). But he hasn't sent any others so I think I'm okay - if he does, we'll have the conversation.

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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