Manifesto: Availability


I am continuing the series about the details of my Classroom Manifesto.

I promise to be more available to my students. I will give them my phone number, email address, Skype ID, Google Talk ID, Google+, and Twitter name. I will encourage them to communicate with me inside and outside of school. I will be available to help them with their education when they need help, not just during our class period.

I know we live in a digital age. I know that most students under the age of 18 are using many of the tools listed above. So to keep up with students, I feel that teachers have be where the students are. Since I see my students only once a week, I give them as much information as I can to get a hold of me outside of class.

When I first meet my students I give them a hand out of different ways they can find me. I give them my phone number, email address, Skype ID, Google Talk ID, Google+, Twitter, and my class Facebook. I feel that I need to have an open line of communication with parents and students. It makes sense to me since I see my students once a week. Sometimes I give them work they need to do at home. They may need some help, or they may need some sort of clarification about their assignment.

Online communication in some states is prohibited. So make sure you check your laws. Ohio, where I live, doesn’t have any laws about online communication between teachers and students. I set clear rules to my students. I don’t let them private message me. If they do, I block them off my Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. If they prank call me, then I block them using my Google Voice, or email. I have some rules about online communication:

  • It must be transparent, and out in the open.
  • It must be appropriate and professional.

Start small, but think big when it comes to keeping a line of communication between students, parents, and teachers.

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