All this electronic dependency is simultaneously preferable for some, prohibitive for others, and uncomfortable for just about everyone. Me included.
If we rewind the clock to pre-computer days - yes, there was a time when people were not on some electronic device - then we get to a time when teachers connected with students' parents and guardians with the old-fashioned telephone. And it was probably corded too... oh, the inconvenience.
When a student nowadays is not connected to his or her teacher's learning platform or learning management system (LMS) or fails to join a Zoom class, we teachers revert back to that old-fashioned stand-by, the telephone.
And too many of the students on our rosters are relative no-shows in remote learning, i.e., "Plan C".
And sadly, too many of those students' phone numbers that are stored in schools' databases are not working, or ring to someone who's never heard of the student we're calling about.
We teachers need working phone numbers to text and talk with parents and keep them abreast of what's going on in class and in school.
Schools have automated calling systems that alert parents and guardians to everything from emergency situations like lockdowns to announcements of upcoming events like prom and SAT Test dates.
Teachers and counselors and social workers and administrators call to follow up with students who have fallen off the radar, failing to attend Zoom calls or falling behind in their coursework.
But, we rely on accurate phone numbers to make these connections. Without it, there is a disconnect, a breakdown in communication. Parents need to contact their children's school to update their phone numbers when they change.
It is a weakness that is easily corrected. Just contact or stop by your child's school and provide your new contact information. Working connections like updated and accurate phone numbers are the lifeline to a student's success.
Imagine that, Strength in Numbers... this time it's just a Strength in Phone Numbers.
Mark B. Anderson
Tutor & Founder, Strength in Numbers Tutoring