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Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reading and Writing - txt it

Would you give your cell phone number to 160 teenagers? Well I did just that at the beginning of the school year.

Most of my students, high school juniors and seniors, would rather text that talk on the phone, or even talk to the person right next to them sometimes. Yes, they text message one another when they are sitting right next to each other. So at the beginning of this school year, I gave out my cell phone number and said: if you have an emergency, if you don't understand the homework, if you have a question, you can text me. Here's what happened.

The first messages I got were along the lines of "Hi, this is your favorite student :D" and "Is this really your cell phone number?" I got messages wishing me a happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mother's Day. There were some homework questions--not an overwhelming number, but some. There were a few silly messages on the weekend. One was "do a barrel roll"--I have no idea what that means. One student sent me picture mail from his snow-boarding trip. Gorgeous. And when it snowed here in the Lowcountry (the last time was in the 80's) I got a picture mail of a "snow couple" in which it was, um, very obvious which was the male snow person.

Then I got sick this week, and a few of the seniors got a little needy. They've been working on a research essay for weeks, and I got this text: "I don't know how to write the thesis statement." When I was out for two days in a row I got "Where are you?" and "Are you okay?"

Thursday morning I got about six or seven messages during first block--I wonder if the sub noticed! I had a feeling I knew who it was, because the texts were in complete sentences and grammatically correct. And that writing voice that everyone has (well, most people), that comes through in text messages too. Finally I said: "Stop txting in class!" and I got "Yes, Ma'm." Lol.

10 comments:

Book Quoter said...

I bet your students think you were the coolest teacher though, and that they were even 'cooler'having your number!!

winstonsdad said...

what a nice thing to do place trust in there hands ,and sounds like it has paid off ,all the best stu

Julie P said...

You are a brave, brave person! I probably would not have given out my number. It wa a very admirable thing for a teacher to do!

Miel Abeille said...

I second Julie's comment! Very brave, but also very sweet. What lucky students!

bibliophiliac said...

Thanks for all the comments. Giving out my cell phone number to all those kids might sound a little crazy, but there was not one single mean or inappropriate text all year -- just a few silly ones;)

Marlyn said...

You are indeed brave to give your cell phone number to your students. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I'm not following you, too.

Lee said...

I don't think it was bravery. It was generosity and the desire to nurture connection with your students on their territory. Bravo I say!. Even if many of the texts didn't apply to the academics, you taught them a valuable lesson in communicating with their instructors...something that will endure into their college years!

Kate said...

I love this! I have given out my cell to students too. You got two slots on "My Friday Five" this week! :)

bibliophiliac said...

Kate, thanks for the mentions on your "Friday Five" -- I also enjoyed checking out the other posts!

StephTheBookworm said...

What a great post - made me laugh! I'm a new follower. :)