Teachers Want Parents in the Classroom

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A new study released Monday finds a majority of Michigan teachers want parents to be more involved in the classroom. Lansing-based EPIC-MRA conducted a poll of 1,018 teachers from across the state, and more than 80 percent say they are frustrated by unresponsive and defensive parents.

Teachers say they want to communicate more with parents, but for a number of reasons, including language and cultural barriers, parents stay out of school. Some teachers say it also has to do with parental time constraints and possibly bad experiences in school when they were children.

The study was commissioned by the group "Your Child," of the Michigan Education Association is a member. This study is the first of three parts to be released this month. Next week, a survey of parents will be released, and it shows how parents view teacher communications.

The MEA says the surveys will serve as a jumping off point to improve parent-teacher communication. Educators say several possible solutions include working with the business community to allow parents time off to come to school. Another solution is better communication training for teachers in college.