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Classroom Insights

New Surveys of Families and Teachers Finds Perception Disconnects on Communication, Engagement

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By SchoolStatus 4 min

Families give teachers high marks for communication, but teachers don’t have similar views of Family engagement, their ideas on teaching responsibilities or even what information parents want   

New York, NY (July 30, 2019) — ClassTag, a leading communication app, today released the findings of “Family’s Perspectives”, a survey of more than 1,000 parents of current K12 students, as part of the “The State of Teacher – Family Engagement 2019”,  a comprehensive report which also surveyed over 1,000 primary educators earlier this year. The latest survey results reveal that parents and teachers have several different, significant views on home to school engagement.

According to “Family Perspectives”, 39 percent of parents gave the highest marks in communication to teachers this past school year. The plurality of parents (29%) said the communication was “excellent”. Only four percent of all parents gave teachers a score of one of ten.

This contrasts with the results of the Teacher’s Perspectives which found that almost half of all teachers (48%) reported that at least a quarter of their students’ families were, “hard to reach and engage”. The 2018 survey, found similar levels of teacher difficulty in engaging parents and families.

“The findings paint a picture where teachers continue to report significant levels of missing engagement by parents or guardians while parents tend to think their teachers are doing a good job of communicating,” said Vlada Lotkina, Co-founder and CEO of ClassTag. “It’s clear that both teachers and parents see teachers tossing the ball, but teachers still don’t feel that families are catching it,” she said.

That difference is especially enlightening considering the survey results on who has the responsibility for learning. According to teachers, parents “thinking that education is a teacher’s job, not a teamwork between parents and teachers” was one of the biggest barriers to effective communication between teachers and families. But when asked, nearly three-quarters (73%) of parents said that, “it’s a joint responsibility between myself and teachers to ensure my child has a good education.” Less than nine percent said, “education is a teacher’s job.”

A third of teachers also reported that “conflicting Family expectations” in terms of communications channels and frequency are a key roadblock for effective Family communication, while a majority (73%) of parents suggest that they would either “love to customize their communications preferences” or “would likely do so”.

“This is exactly the role of  ClassTag which helps to close this gap by giving teachers one easy communication channel while delivering the information in the modality and frequency preferred by the Family, whether it’s e-mail, text, app, web or even paper,” said Lotkina.

In another apFamily misaligned view, parents say what they want most in teacher communication is “pictures and video about a day at school.” But in the teacher survey, two-thirds of teachers said the top requests from parents were, “about their child’s academics and behaviors” followed by “when things are due.”

Other noteworthy findings from the Family survey include:

  • Families say, on average, teachers use more than three “communication channels” such e-mail, paper, social media or purpose-designed applications to deliver information about classroom activities or student progress.
  • E-mail is still the most common way that teachers communicate. Seventy-three percent of parents say teachers use it. Twenty-one percent of teachers use social media and 26 percent text information to families.
  • Approximately 85 percent of parents rated teacher communication above average – at least six on a ten-point scale.
  • More than a third of parents (35%) said that “implementing technology for Family teacher communication” made them feel “more on top of what’s coming up at school.”

The “Family’s Perspective” was conducted online and had 1,072 responses from parents in 48 states with children in all types of schools, from early childhood through high school. The results of the first 2019 Teacher’s Perspective survey, was released in June.  For more information or to download the full report, please visit: www.classtag.com/research.

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About ClassTag

The free ClassTag service transforms the way teachers connect with parents, allowing them to save time and focus on classroom education and activities rather than preparing and distributing Family notes and communications. With ClassTag, teachers can reach parents in over 100 languages through any channel including online, via email or text message, and even paper printouts. To make your classroom more engaged and earn valuable ClassTag Coins, sign up here: https://www.classtag.com/

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SchoolStatus
SchoolStatus is a unified K-12 platform that enables districts and schools to engage more families and improve attendance with our easy-to-use communications hub and data-driven attendance solutions. We support an integrated and impactful educational experience, from district leadership to families at home. With more than two hundred million successful school-home interactions, and millions of users, SchoolStatus drives meaningful results for districts and schools across the US.
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