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Student Speaking – Today’s TNT (Tips for New Teachers)

Teach a student to answer the phone.

There will be those moments when you’re in the middle of a great lecture. The kids are on the edge of their seats. You’re just about to come to the main point of the lesson, when…the phone rings.

I hate it when that happens.

I learned early on to teach the student nearest to the phone how to answer when the phone rings.

This isn’t as easy as it appears.

The student can’t just say, “Hello.”

It may be the principal calling.

I teach them to say, “Mr. Rangel’s class, student speaking.”

Most of the time, someone in the office wants to pull a student from my class to go home or to see an administrator, and the student answering the phone can handle that.

It is really rare that someone actually has to speak to me.

Having a student answer the phone for me saves me a lot of time, and keeps the class from losing focus.

This may seem like one of those “Duh” tips, but there will be days when the phone will ring 5 times in a period, and any help you can get is appreciated.

I know many schools use student runners to send messages or make the announcement over the class intercom system. I’ve experienced them all, and personally, I’d rather them call my room than send a student to interrupt my class to give me a message.

What do you think is the best way to send messages to the teacher during class?

That’s all,




  1. Pat's Gravatar Pat
    December 30, 2010    

    This worked well in my classroom also. I had them say:
    “Good morning (afternoon). This is Mrs. Hensley’s classroom. I am one of her students. May I help you?” and then if they asked for me, “May I tell her who is calling?” The students loved doing this and it also teaches them a great job skill.

    • Sam's Gravatar Sam
      December 30, 2010    

      This is great. I think I’ll add a little more to the message I teach my students to say into the telephone. My eighth graders might not be too crazy about it, but like you say, it’s a good life lesson.

  2. January 9, 2011    

    I thought I liked the student runners the best, because I could just glance at the slip and see if it needs immediate attention or if it can wait. My phone is on the opposite side of the room from where I stand and I have had to practically do the high jump to get there before the caller looses patience, but now that you mention having a student answer the phone, it makes a lot of sense. It would be a great student job. I will have to check and see what my administration thinks of this… they may not care. I like it though! Thanks for the great procedure!

    — Stephanie

    • Sam's Gravatar Sam
      January 9, 2011    

      Thank you for the comment Stephanie. I hate doing the fit-through-the-desks dance. What’s worse is when you finally get there, they’ve hung up. Argh! I’m sure your admin will be OK with it. If not, let me talk to them. : )

      Thanks again,

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