PRIMARY SOURCES Third Edition

America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change

A project of Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

National Data

“While some may say we can’t control out-of-school factors, we can definitely begin an educational dialogue with parents and guardians in order to get on the same page about the education of their children.”

— HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER

Primary Sources Third Edition is based on a national online survey conducted among 20,157 PreK–12th grade public school classroom teachers between July 1 and July 22, 2013. More on Methodology.

Teachers Seek to Collaborate In and Outside of School to Best Serve Students

TEACHERS PROACTIVELY COLLABORATE WITH PEERS, BOTH ON AND OFFLINE

There is no doubt that collaboration is important to teachers. Teachers say time collaborating with colleagues is most often spent exchanging or sharing resources or lesson plans, followed closely by learning from each other’s successes and challenges, discussing how to best meet the needs of individual students and reviewing student data.

Activities in Which Teachers Engage When Collaborating With Colleagues

Base: Total Respondents. Details: page 91 in the full report. State data here.

Additionally, teachers say that technology can create opportunities for collaboration and open doors to resources and information to help them grow their practice.

More information detailing teachers’ use of technology for collaboration is available in the full report.

TEACHERS CONNECT WITH STUDENTS AND PARENTS TO ADDRESS SPECIFIC NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES

Teachers nationwide are willing to reach out to students’ parents and families to build a strong network of support and help every child succeed.  

Percentage of Teachers Who Say Each Situation Applies to Them

Base: Total Respondents. Details: page 95 in the full report. State data here.

Additional information on how teachers connect with students and parents—including subgroup analysis by grade level and community income—and a spotlight on teachers willing to make home visits are available in the full report.

TEACHERS OFFER MYRIAD WAYS FOR PARENTS TO HELP CHILDREN ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN SCHOOL

In the spirit of collaboration, teachers cite a variety of activities and strategies for parents to engage with their children’s school and schoolwork. The parental activities teachers were asked about in the survey fall into three distinct categories: engagement at home, partnership with the teacher and activity on school grounds. In general, teachers are most likely to find “engagement at home” activities—such as making sure children do not miss school and encouraging children to complete homework and assignments—as the most helpful ways for parents to support student success.

Teachers’ Views on Helpfulness of Parents’ Strategies/Activities in Supporting Student Success in School

Base: Total Respondents. Details: page 103 in the full report. State data here.

Importantly, teachers make a distinction between encouraging and ensuring that children complete school assignments versus helping children complete homework (72% and 43%, respectively, identify this type of involvement as extremely helpful).

Additional information on the helpfulness of parental activities—including subgroup analysis by grade level—is available in the full report.