The most successful method for involving parents/guardians in my classroom has been:'s Teacher Poll of the Week
The most successful method for involving parents/guardians in my classroom has been:
Having them volunteer or visit during the school day.
Holding family evening events.
Creating a periodic print newsletter.
Creating a periodic electronic newsletter.
Scheduling appointments.
Allowing for an open classroom.

View Results

With so many possible responses to this poll, no one category received an overwhelming amount of the vote. Teachers who like parents to volunteer or visit during the school day edged out the other possibilities by a very slight margin. On the other end of the scale, creating an electronic newsletter received the least amount of votes. This, in itself, is surprising because teachers use computers for so much of their lesson planning and probably use word processing software to compose notices to go home. Apparently going the extra step of sending the notices electronically hasn't happened for many teachers yet.

Involving parents or guardians in the classroom can be a help or a hindrance to teachers. Having parents that are willing to volunteer for some of the more menial classroom tasks frees up teacher time for more education pursuits. However, not all parents are created equal and some are more helpful than others.

Finding time to accommodate parent meetings or family events can be difficult and time consuming to organize and implement although together they accounted for the majority of votes in this poll. Maintaining a connection with parents is obviously very important for teachers to make the effort.

Discussion between teachers and parents is a vital part of a student's education. Knowing what each party expects from the other and how they can support each other's efforts serves to strengthen the learning process. Also when there are open lines of communication any problems that arise can be dealt with quickly and effectively.

Unfortunately, many families have both parents working full time jobs which leave little time for volunteering during the school day. These parents rely on newsletters and notices to keep them informed of student progress and classroom activities. With less than 20% of teachers reporting that they use print or electronic newsletters to involve parents many parents may be left in the dark.

Whichever method teachers use to involve parents in the classroom it is good to know that teachers realize the benefits of parent involvement. Working as a team, parents and teachers can support each other and achieve the best possible educational experience for students.