How can parents best support educators, school systems? - SmartBrief

All Articles Education How can parents best support educators, school systems?

How can parents best support educators, school systems?

3 min read


As fall festivities draw near and the weather cools down, many schools are holding parent-teacher conferences. Educators across the nation have strong feelings about the ways that educators and parents can work together for the benefit of children.

Last week, we polled SmartBrief on EdTech readers about their beliefs regarding the best ways that parents can support educators and school systems.  37.08% of respondents reported that ensuring students attend school is one of the most important ways that parents can help educators in the quest for college and career readiness. This response was significantly higher than other measures, such as advocating for higher per pupil expenditure or after-school enrichment activities.

Respondents also believe that holding high expectations for learners is critical for parents. This, along with supporting children’s interests in and out of school, exist as the two most important ways for parents to prepare their children for success in college and career.

Most importantly, an overwhelming 58.73% of respondents believe that teachers are the greatest resource available to parents, outweighing the impact of community.

Here’s a look at the poll results:

What is the most important way parents or families can support educators in your school or district in the work of preparing their children for college and career readiness?

  • Make sure their children attend school: 37.08%

  • Spend time daily working with their children on homework: 32.58%

  • Check in regularly with their children’s teachers: 20.22%

  • Advocate for higher per-pupil expenditure: 4.49%

  • Attend parent-teacher conferences: 3.37%

  • Support after-school enrichment activities: 2.25%

What do you believe is the most important way that parents and families can help prepare their children for college and careers?

  • Hold high expectations for their children: 40.79%

  • Support their children’s interests in and out of school: 34.21%

  • Expect their children to attend college: 8.55%

  • Ensure their children are attending school: 6.58%

  • Expect their children to be well-prepared for careers: 3.29%

  • Take advantage of school resources: 2.63%

  • Ensure their children are completing homework: 1.32%

  • Ensure their children are getting enough sleep: 1.32%

  • Support budget referendums: 1.32%

  • Provide healthy meals: 0.00%

Which resources do parents or families in your school or district find most helpful in preparing their children for college and career?

  • Teachers: 58.73%

  • Out-of-school resources: 12.70%

  • Online resources: 11.11%

  • School leaders: 6.35%

  • Other parents and families: 6.35%

  • Business/community leaders: 3.17%

  • State-provided resources: 1.59%

  • Neighborhood/local resources: 0.00%

How do you build strong school-family partnerships? What resources are most critical for your parents? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Kristen Swanson (@kristenswanson) is a learner, leader and teacher. She is the senior educational technology leader for BrightBytes and a founder of the Edcamp movement. Swanson is also author of “Professional Learning in the Digital Age,” a Google Certified Teacher, a Twitter teacher and an Edublog Award nominee.