Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Contacting Parents - Open Mic

I cannot stand our policy! Sorry to be frank. Maybe it's not the policy so much as the set up. It is strongly suggested to contact parents by phone rather than email. I disagree. I think everything should be documented and not just because I come from a law enforcement background. It's just plain common sense to get everything in writing. So my issue on the set up is this...

When I call during my lunch (b/c I have no planning period) I always get a voicemail. I have to call on my cell phone and block my number because I don't want parents calling my cell. My department is nowhere near my room to use the "dept. phone". When I instruct parents to call me back after 3:30pm and have the front office page me to the call, the front office does not comply and sends them directly to my voicemail that exists somewhere in outer-voicemail-space. I have no access to a phone unless it's in a common area. So then it's weeks of playing contact parent = tag instead of contact parent = conference. It's an endless circle. Why is it so hard to equip teachers with the resources they need to meet the policies and procedures set forth by the powers that be? And, what happend to the fabulous and easy communication resource - EMAIL?!?!?!?!?


RS said...


I understand and feel your frustration. I am lucky at my school in that I am normally able to have someone cover my class while I make contacts. I should be making more but and that is why I feel your frustration. I blame alot on my self and being in this sharp learning curve where we all are trying to manage multiple (Squared) agendas. Once we climb the mountain we can enjoy the view.
I wish you well and do understand.

RS in Alpharetta

RS said...


I thought of something else. I have found it best to contact parents after lunch and before
3:oo PM. The students coming from younger families have parents/guardians that work shifts.

Again, Wishing YOU the best!

RS in Alpharetta

Dr. M said...

Hi, Erika - I agree that email makes sense from the legal and effective senses, but phone contact is more personal and that may be what the school is after. Maybe after the initial phone contact, emails would be acceptable.

You may want to approach your Dept Chair, AP or Principal about the issues you are having, as I'm sure other teachers are troubled as well. A calm explanation of your difficulties and a common sense solution (emailing) may find a receptive audience in a one-on-one meeting with your supervisors.

Also, I ended up calling parents from home in the evening, when most parents were readily accessible. I never had a parent call me back at home, or on my cell, unless I asked them to, although I understand your reluctance to share that information. Keep us posted.

Joe Westbrook said...

Your boss should be very supportive of your contact efforts. I write in my contact log all contacts, in person, phone, and email.
Hang in there. The phone is probably the best method, other than suspending the student pending parent conference. That method is used when the school has continued problems making contact. It works. In our school we are lucky that we can use some email. It helps in documenting that type of contact. Good Luck!

Amy M said...


Is it possible to forward calls that go to your extension to your cell phone? This is a feature that is available at our school, though I don't use it anymore. If this is the case, you can have all these calls that come in to your extension go straight to your cell phone, and the parents never know your number.