Want to know insanity?
A middle school building with something like 1100 students and 70 faculty and staff.
And three outside phone lines.
Yup, that wasn't a typo.
T H R E E.
Trying to get an outside phone line to call a parent is beyond annoying. First, we have to call The Secretary, who is delightful and wonderful, but who also gets a zillion phone calls coming in and can get a bit busy. You then have to ask The Secretary if she can program the system so you can make an outside call from your room. This usually takes a few minutes, and if The Secretary is really busy chances are she'll forget. And then you look at the clock and your planning period is gone and the kids are gonna be here in second and you'll just have to try later.
It drives me nuts.
I had a grad school professor once say that it was ridiculous that the one piece of technology that teachers could really use effectively, the telephone, is the one that's nearly impossible to get. I tend to agree with that. Having the ability to simply pick up the phone and call a parent Right In The Middle Of Class would be wonderful.
I've actually done this with my cell phone. I resent having to use the cell phone and minutes that I pay for to do this, but I do it. I had a Royal Brat last year who decided to roll her eyes, draw pictures, and refuse to work. Well, The Royal Brat's mother and I had had a little chat a few weeks prior and she said to call her on her cell ANYTIME The Royal Brat was, well, a Royal Brat.
So, right there in the middle of class, I got out my cell phone, keyed in Momma's number and walked over to The Royal Brat and showed the number to her on the LCD screen.
"Make me push send," I said. "One more think out of you and I'll do it."
The Royal Brat looks at the screen and her eyes get big as saucers. "No Ma'am. You won't need to do that. I'll get to work right now, Ma'am."
I want an outside line in the worst way.