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Report: Teachers Have Difficulty Engaging Families

Almost half of primary teachers say they encounter difficulties communicating with a large segment of parents and families of their students.

In a recent survey involving 1,000 primary teachers conducted by ed tech company ClassTag, 45 percent of respondents said more than a quarter of families were “hard to reach and engage,” with 21 percent saying that more than half of their families were hard to engage.

However, according to the report, The State of Parent Engagement, parents tend to think that teachers do a good job of communicating. Some 39 percent rated teachers as having good communication, rating them at 9 to 10 points out of 10.

“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, in a prepared statement. “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.

Other findings from the report included:

  • Parents prefer email over all other forms of communication.

  • However, apps are also highly rated among parents whose teachers use them.

  • Parents say pictures and videos about the school day are the most useful type of communication from teachers (22 percent), followed by “when things are due” (19 percent) and “Individual communications about their child’s academics and behaviors” (16 percent).

  • 25 percent of teachers reported they communicate with parents daily; 29 percent three to four times a week; and 40 percent weekly.

  • Teachers use multiple methods of communication, including paper (79 percent), email (79 percent), phone (77 percent), apps (63 percent), school website (38 percent), social media (27 percent), SMS (22 percent), and signup software (16 percent).

A number of other findings are detailed in the report. The complete report is freely available as a PDF download from ClassTag’s site.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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