View Full Version : The Interruptions are driving me crazy!

09-25-2011, 12:03 PM
We're constantly being interrupted.

Friends often stop in with a "Hey, gotta minute?"

I answer "I'm in the middle of a Science lesson with my son."

Which they somehow interpret as "Yes, please sit down and take 30 minutes of my time."

No one would walk into a regular school classroom and ask the teacher if she, or he, is busy.
Why is it so hard for the people around me to understand that I am a teacher too, and we have real classes,
and a schedule, and we're serious about it.

Anybody have any suggestions?

09-25-2011, 12:07 PM
I don't answer my phone or open my door. Of course, I don't have much of a social life either, and that's probably partly to blame.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-25-2011, 12:11 PM
I think you are going to have to find a way to tell them. They just don't get it. We don't have people stopping by but I did have to stop answering the phone. When I returned calls after checking voice mail I could say something like, "Oh, I don't answer the phone until we are done with lessons."

09-25-2011, 12:41 PM
I might put up a sign like some people do for sleeping babies that asks others not to knock.

Also, when I was a single mom with both clients and friends who refused to understand that bedtime was a "sacred," non-interruptible time for me and my little kids I had a voice mail message that said I was unavailable between the hours of seven and nine every day. It worked really well. Even jerky, needy clients got the idea that little kids need undivided attention and that families have boundaries.

09-25-2011, 01:15 PM
I don't answer my phone or open my door.


During school hours: phone is off and door goes unanswered. If someone needs to get me (ie someone died), they know to text me a 911 message (I will check my phone a couple times to make sure the sky didn't fall whilst the phone was off).


09-26-2011, 03:58 PM
I have several ideas:

1. As suggested, put up a sign on your (locked) door. Something like "School in session. Please do not disturb." Perhaps add some times, so they know when they can try back.

2. When they ask "Have you got a minute?" make the first word out of your mouth be "no." Such as: "No, I'm sorry, but I'm in the middle of class right now. Can you come back at ____ o'clock?"

3. If these fail, and they still barge in, turn around, take yourself back to your school room/area, and continue your lesson. Maybe if they *see* that you're really *teaching* they will get the message. Once you are done, or can take a a break, you can turn your attention back to your "guest." This is similar to what my teachers in p.s. would do if someone came into their classroom. Usually the person would wait quietly in the back, or the teacher would ask them to do so, until the teacher had a few minutes to speak to them.

Okay, so that last one is a bit snarktastic, but I think it could work with certain people. :)

09-26-2011, 04:53 PM
It's time to make a sign for your door.

Unless you are covered in arterial blood, on fire, or radioactive, please delay all visits [even short ones] to the times listed on this sign.
Class In Session
Thank You.

Leave a message on your answering machine/voice mail stating that "All non-Emergency messages will be answered at your convenience AFTER class is no longer in session".

09-26-2011, 08:37 PM
No one ever stops by here. And when they do, I stop and talk. The problem is the main visitor is my husband, and his stopping by also usually includes dodging grabby hands. (depeche mode reference as well.)

09-26-2011, 09:43 PM
i WISH my husband still had grabby hands. But no one ever comes here, either.

09-26-2011, 09:44 PM
I know I should consider myself lucky! Thanks for giving me a view from the flip side!

09-26-2011, 11:21 PM
I change my voicemail message at the beginning of the school year to something akin to what Greenmother listed. I try to interject humor. I think last year I said that I would get to their call in the order in which it was received. We don't often get visitors, either, but if someone wandered in and felt the need to interrupt my day, I'm reasonably sure I would ignore them. They could sit on the couch quietly (and yes, I would shush them) until I was done and had the time to speak to them. My time is my time, and there IS a finite amount of it!

09-26-2011, 11:35 PM
Not many people bug me out here. Though I have had to remind a couple people that being a homeschooler doesn't equate to being available whenever they want me for indefinite amounts of time for whatever.

Amazing how people think that SAHM or Homeschooler means "At your service".

09-27-2011, 12:19 AM
Who are these people that you refer to? I am so never bothered, I need to meet some people or something!! lol... I never get any phone calls, no texts, no emails, no visitors, and nothing. I would most definitely stop and hang out and chat chat chat.. I know you find it hard to believe but I do like to talk.

09-30-2011, 08:53 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I could definitely take some classes on being assertive from all of you.
I live in a weird place and even weirder situation, that's why there are so many interruptions - it's not that I'm popular or have a million friends.
There are salespeople, walk-ins (we run a social arts project - it only runs three days a week, but tourists stop in wanting to "see" the place even on Sundays),
or friends just drop in from the city when they have a day off. It's a tourist town, so everybody thinks everybody is on vacation or living on inherited money.

Sorry, I took so long to reply - I still get lost in the forums and can't find my way back to my posts (just figured it out though :))

10-01-2011, 08:50 AM
We don't have many visitors up on our mountain but all the suggestions were great adn I hope they work for you. I have the DH that interrups and he doesn't get the dirty looks I throw his way. Ugh makes me so crazy.

10-01-2011, 11:09 AM
Definitely get interrupted by DH too, but have no trouble telling him to go away, and he's learning to read my "bugger off" face :P

10-01-2011, 11:22 AM
I think my DH thinks he is helping when he comes in and listens and starts getting involved when we are in the middle of a lesson. I want to scream you do it or just shut up! :)

10-01-2011, 11:57 AM
I have family and neighbor issues. Everybody seems to think that I am free to do what ever the need whenever they need. My mom is one of the worst and I swear if I get another hey I need to run to the store i'm sending my kids down to your house call i'm going to scream. (I should add the call is coming in while the person is driving away and her kids are walking to my house already!)

Hubby is a welcome interruption.

10-01-2011, 12:43 PM
Reading about people dropping by... my first thought is wow, I'd love to have people drop by. I get so lonely! But then I remember what it was like when I was young, living with my parents and people would drop by to talk to them all the time.

My parents used to run a weekly newspaper out of our basement, and people thought since it was out of their home they could just drop in any time. My mom used to be so insistent that they keep proper business hours. She made sure someone was always home between 9 - 5 Monday to Friday, but she would NEVER answer the phone between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning since that was a prime time for people to try phoning about business things. And we had seperate phone lines for home and business, but people would call either one, so if outside of business hours the business phone rang and went unanswered and then the home phone rang, that was a sign to ignore it.

My mom was incredibly strict and good at telling people to go away if it wasn't business hours. I remember one time though my dad asking why there was a woman with an infant standing outside our door in the rain, and my mom explained that it wasn't nine o'clock yet and the woman had come to apply for a job they were offering. My dad couldn't believe my mom would be so picky, but to my mom that time before nine in the morning was sacred get-the-kids-ready time, and she didn't want it intruded upon. (We did actually hire the lady and 20 years later she's still working for us.)

10-01-2011, 12:48 PM
Reading about people dropping by... my first thought is wow, I'd love to have people drop by. The only people I have dropping by are religious missionaries and salespeople. I don't really want to see either.