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University of Phoenix Survey: Many U.S. K-12 Teachers Say Fewer than 25 Percent of Parents are Involved in the Classroom

According to a national K-12 teacher survey, more than a third of teachers think parental involvement can help address recruitment and retention in the educator ranks

PHOENIX, Oct. 24, 2016 — Parental involvement in the classroom is a well-known strategy to boost student achievement[1], but more than 6-in-10 (62 percent) K-12 teachers say fewer than a quarter of parents get involved in the classroom[2], according to a recent University of Phoenix® College of Education survey conducted online by Harris Poll of 1,005 K-12 teachers nationwide.

When asked what would attract more qualified educators to the field, 18 percent of K-12 teachers want more parent involvement in the classroom, with 21 percent of K-5 teachers seeing the value for this. To improve teacher retention, almost 30 percent said that programs encouraging parent participation in schools and classrooms was a potential solution.

The survey data highlights the unique opportunity parents have to become more involved in their children’s classrooms to make an impact on their learning and classroom experience.

“Parents are the first teachers of their children, and they play an integral role in their education both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Pamela Roggeman, Ed.D., academic dean for University of Phoenix College of Education and former K-12 teacher. “Communication between parents and teachers is critical to student success. As a former high school teacher, I saw first-hand how a culture of collaboration improved student outcomes and teacher satisfaction.”

How Teachers Want Parents to Get Involved

When asked about ways teachers would like parents involved in the classroom, they cited the following:

  • Don’t wait until there is an issue to connect with the teacher (68 percent)
  • Ask about areas for improvement for their child (65 percent)
  • Communicate regularly with the teacher (65 percent)

“Often parents think that to be involved in their child’s learning they need to spend time in their child’s classroom, but when you ask teachers, it’s often much more simple and boils down to one thing: communication,” continued Roggeman. “The most impactful thing parents can do to stay engaged in their child’s learning is to have open dialogue and communication with their child’s teacher throughout the year. This allows parents to have a better understanding of their child’s progression and can help parents support the academic growth of their child through at-home activities to supplement what’s being done in the classroom.”

After School Advice: A Tutorial on Increasing Parent-Teacher Communication Outside the Classroom

Keeping up regular communication with a child’s teacher can be challenging for parents, particularly when balancing work, personal and family responsibilities. To help, Roggeman suggests the following simple practices for parents to increase communication with their child’s educators:

  1. Identify the best method of communication. Today’s teachers are creating numerous ways to stay engaged with parents outside of the classroom. Whether it’s via email, a social media group, classroom websites or handwritten notes, the options are endless. Find out the teacher’s preferred method of communication for quicker responses and stay engaged.
  2. Ask about classroom activities and feedback on your child’s performance. Learn about current classroom lessons and activities. Ask for constructive feedback on how a child is performing to better understand difficult subjects for your child and areas for improvement.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for homework help. It can sometimes be difficult to help children with their homework as curriculum evolves and parents might need to “brush up” on a subject. It’s natural – and not unreasonable – to ask educators for homework help and important to ensure children understand the curriculum.
  4. Don’t forget to say “thanks.” Teachers choose the profession to make a difference in students’ lives. They manage anywhere from 20 to more than 100 students a day and act not just as educators but also as role models, guardians and caretakers for our nation’s students. Don’t forget to say thank you to your child’s teacher for choosing the profession and for all of their hard work.
Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between April 14 and 25, 2016. Respondents included 1,005 U.S. residents employed full-time as teachers in grades K-12 who have at least an undergraduate degree. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Amanda Barchilon at amanda.barchilon@apollo.edu.

About University of Phoenix® College of Education 

University of Phoenix College of Education has been educating teachers and school administrators for more than 30 years. The College of Education provides bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for individuals who want to become teachers or current educators and administrators seeking advanced degrees to strengthen their professional knowledge. With education programs available throughout most of the U.S., the College of Education has a distinct grasp of the national education picture and priorities for teacher preparation. Faculty members on average bring more than 17 years of professional experience to the classroom. For more information, visit phoenix.edu/education.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of  Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

[1] Center for Public Education: Back to school: How parent involvement affects student achievement (full report) August 30, 2011: http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Public-education/Parent-Involvement/Parent-Involvement.html

[2] Survey of 1,005 U.S. full-time employed K-12 teachers who have at least an undergraduate degree conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between April 14 and 25, 2016. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, contact Amanda Barchilon at amanda.barchilon@apollo.edu.