Despite growing use of communications technologies, ClassTag’s 2019 “State of Parent Engagement” survey also found that paper printed material is still the most common way teachers deliver information
New York, NY (JUNE 24, 2019)—The second annual 2019 “State of Parent Engagement ” survey conducted by ClassTag, collected responses from over 1,000 primary school teachers and found disconnects in communication and engagement between teachers and the parents, guardians and families of students.
More than half the teachers (55%) in the survey reported that “not understanding the importance of parent involvement” and “thinking that education is a teacher's job, not a teamwork between parents and teachers” (54%) were the biggest barriers to effective communication between classroom teachers and families. Only 14 percent of teachers listed “lack of access to technology” as a primary communication barrier and just 18 percent said language was a communication impediment.
Almost half of all teachers (48%) reported that at least a quarter of their students’ families or guardians were, “hard to reach and engage”. Overall the number is 34 percent on average, mirroring results from the 2018 surveywhich found that approximately 35 percent of parents had no interaction with their classrooms last school year.
“We’re seeing now that as teachers and schools bring new, more efficient communications technologies into play, the obstacles to outstanding communication and coordination are shifting somewhat,” said Vlada Lotkina, Co-Founder and CEO of ClassTag. “There’s still room to grow with technology but now we’re seeing that we can locate and work on some pressure points like stressing the benefits of engagement as opposed to working only on how to engage,” she said.
“Every year I see different levels of engagement amongst families in my classroom. Some are very engaged and expect frequent communication and immediate visibility, others are hard to reach, and you have to make every effort to find the channel, language and motivation to bring them in. This is what makes communication so difficult as we strive to build a strong support team for each student,” said Brittany O’Connell a kindergarten teacher Moses Y. Beach Elementary School, Wallingford, CT
The survey also found that, despite teachers reporting that parents prefer to receive classroom communications by an application software such as ClassTag, some 79 percent of teachers default to using paper and printed materials in their mix of classroom to family communications. “We’re seeing parents and teachers become more comfortable with communications tools designed for the classroom,” Lotkina said, “still, it’s hard to quit paper.”
Brittany Henderson, a 5th grade teacher in Indiana, gave a concrete example of how technology can help. “I needed parent volunteers for a large project we were doing. I sent home a paper copy of the request along with a description of what I would need volunteers to do. After two weeks, I had one grandparent that volunteered. Frustrated, I messaged our parent group to remind people on ClassTag. In two hours, I had 25 people say they could help and signed up on ClassTag. I was floored.”
“Family or parent engagement in the education process, as a team with teachers and other school leaders, is one of the best contributors of student success,” Lotkina said. “Our mission is to help teachers and parents make it happen, removing all the possible barriers from the fundamentals of being able to reach each other quickly and effectively to inspiring and fueling parent engagement, elevating its importance for student success,” she said.
ClassTag is a communications platform that helps teachers reach and engage all parents by automatically translating messages in 50+ languages, sending them any way a parent chooses, with a single click. ClassTag also lets parents and teachers earn supplies for their students’ classroom by engaging in activities such as volunteering or even reading classroom messages. ClassTag has grown 5 times year over year and is now helping 50,000 teachers tag-team with 1,000,000 families in 2019.
The 2019 ClassTag State of Parent Engagement collected responses from teachers between May 20 and June 5, 2019. Sixty-six percent taught in public schools, eighteen in public Title 1 schools, ten percent in private and six percent in charter schools.
ClassTag will be presenting these findings at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia from Monday, June 24 - on Wednesday, June 26th at booth #1456. For more information or to download the report, please visit: www.classtag.com/research.
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 parent notes and communications. With ClassTag, teachers can reach parents in over 50 languages through any channel including an app, online, via email or text message, and even paper flyers when requested by families. The cloud-based ClassTag app ensures and rewards classroom engagement by allowing classrooms to earn ClassTag Coins, a digital currency redeemable on the ClassTag Rewards, full of classroom supplies and learning products. To make your classroom more engaged and earn valuable ClassTag Coins, sign up here: https://www.classtag.com/