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.