Sunday, November 20, 2011

Texting is Caring

Text Talk: Classroom stories (Willyn Webb, counselor)
When I first started texting, I simply mentioned to a class of students that I was concerned about expressing my feeling through text. Before I could look up from my computer screen, I had two papers on my desk illustrating the most common emoticons used for common feelings. They loved being the experts on something and proceeded to show me examples on their phones and the internet. One particular female student that was part of this interaction was often in my counseling office. This opened up a whole new means for her to express herself to me. I was all for her releasing her turmoil in texting rather than cutting herself. It is amazing what can happen when we let students lead us into their world, even just a bit. Whether it is the learning that comes from teaching or the awareness that the teacher cares enough to value what is important to them, encouraging students to incorporate their phones, teach you what they can do, and lead the way will have positive effects on your classroom climate, learning, and rapport with students. We all know the impact a setting such as this has on test scores, not to mention, making our days more fun.

With all of the free tools available through cell phones to support learning, we sometimes forget the value of a simple, individual text.  Teachers are always encouraged to increase communication with students and parents.  The most effective tool, in today's world, is a text message. According to Start Up Nation 
  • 18-29 year old consumers use text messaging more often than voice to communicate.
  • On average 94% of text messages are read.
  • 80% of consumers keep their mobile with them all day.
  • When given a choice 39% of US consumers — 76 million people — prefer text messages to radio or TV advertising.
 With proper boundaries in place, texting is an easy way to communicate with students and parents with very little time involved (less than a phone call or email). Show you care by using the communication method they prefer.   

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