2022 Impact Survey Findings: New Research from TalkingPoints

New research finds a gap between the information educators and families need from one another to build strong school-family connections — a critical finding since family engagement translates to better learning outcomes for students.

Top 3 things teachers want to learn from families

  • Social-emotional challenges
  • Important family circumstances
  • Behavioral challenges
Top 3 things families wants to learn from their children’s teachers

  • Academic progress
  • Behavior reports
  • Missing homework

Key takeaways

In short, families want more academic progress and behavior updates from educators, while educators want more information on student social-emotional wellness and family circumstances from families.

By sharing this information regularly, schools and families can close this gap and ensure more student learning.

Decades of research shows that family engagement translates to better learning outcomes for students, but too many districts fail to overcome the many barriers to success, such as the gap between what educators want and families provide and vice versa. With the right tools and supports, families and educators can close this gap to forge deeper relationships that benefit students.

Heejae Lim, Founder and CEO of TalkingPoints

Why does this matter?

Schools have big academic and wellbeing goals for students and research shows engaging families is key to seeing academic improvement. In fact, we believe we can only see systemic improvement in student learning with real, intentional family engagement. It can’t be an afterthought.

What can educators do to close this education gap?

Share (and help families share) this information to close this gap and ensure more student learning.

Educators can

  • Start family connections with a conversation about learning a family’s hopes and dreams for their child
  • Share classwide what the class will be learning at the start of a new unit
  • Celebrate learning wins for an individual student
  • Create a plan where an individual student needs extra support, paired family at-home resources
  • Update families on any missing or incomplete homework
  • Share behavior updates, especially around student progress
  • Ask how a student is doing at home, how they are feeling at home, and how the whole family is doing

Families can

  • Share their hopes and dreams for their child with their teacher
  • Share something special about their child, like an interest or special talent
  • Share progress they see at home with their child
  • Ask about what their child is learning and how they can support learning at home
  • Ask about three recent learning wins by their child
  • Ask for updates about their child’s behavior
  • Share important context about their child, from how they are feeling to what’s happening at home
To see how TalkingPoints can help close the gap in your community, request a demo here.

Additional findings from the survey:

With strong family engagement practices in place, teachers report seeing improvements on classroom behavior, attendance, and homework completion.

Top 3 areas teachers report seeing classroom improvements through using TalkingPoints are with:

  • Classroom behavior
  • Attendance
  • Homework completion

Teachers also report that they learned more about how much families want to be involved in their child’s learning (hint: a lot) and specifics around families’ aspirations for their children. 

Parents like to be kept up to date about what we are learning in class. They are able to ask me questions quickly.

Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools
Using TalkingPoints, the top three areas that teachers reported learning from families are:

  • Parents’ aspirations for their child
  • Parents’ desired level of involvement
  • Resource needs (food, clothing, housing, and internet)

I have seen increased participation in school programs and increased identification of financial and other needs of families.

Teacher, Natick Public Schools (Massachusetts)

Families report having increased engagement with their teachers, seeing improved grades for their children, and having an improved attitude toward their child’s school. Families also reported knowing more about school activities, behavior at school, and, critically, how to support learning at home. Increases were more pronounced among non-English speaking families.

Using TalkingPoints, families reported seeing these improvements in their student
Increased engagement in school
Improved grades
Improved attitudes towards school

My daughter’s teacher keeps me updated and informed about everything with my child. I’m very pleased with the school and her teacher.

Families reported that increased communication with teachers helped them support their child through
Increased knowledge of how to support learning
 at home
Increased knowledge 
of school activities
Increased knowledge 
of behavior at school
Learn more about TalkingPoints can help close the gap in your community.

About the research:

Data comes from TalkingPoints’ Spring 2022 Impact Survey designed by its in-house research team. The survey includes responses from 221 educators across early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school, and 1,217 English and Spanish-speaking families. Read our full research library at www.talkingpts.org/research.

About TalkingPoints:

TalkingPoints is a non-profit, mission- and results-driven organization that supports schools and districts in achieving student academic and wellbeing goals through our family engagement platform so schools can build partnership and connection to drive student success for each and every student. Because we are both mission- and results-driven, we can invest resources where we believe will have the most impact in helping schools. That’s why we have our own in-house research team and that’s why we are committed to sharing our findings with partners like you

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