Classroom Insights / Jun 28, 2023

How to Support Staff: Family Engagement Training for Teachers

How To Support Staff In Parent Engagement Training Cover Image

At the outset, family engagement training for teachers can feel full of question marks. After all, how do you train teachers to accomplish something seemingly all-encompassing yet abstract in so little time?

And for those fearful of adding more work for the teachers, don’t be. When employed properly, these engagement techniques can reduce teacher burnout and workload!

Read on for various strategies to support staff to build effective engagement channels between teachers and parents and improve family engagement in a lasting way.

TL;DR for “Family Engagement Training for Teachers

  • Family engagement training for teachers can reduce burnout and workload, so creating a well-thought-out parent engagement plan is essential. 
  • Provide professional development and training opportunities. 
  • Support staff throughout the school year with resources and guidance. 
  • Use appropriate tools and platforms for effective communication. 
  • Monitor the effectiveness of parent engagement efforts through data collection. 
  • Help teachers set boundaries with parents and prioritize their downtime. 
  • Present a unified front to families and provide support for proactive outreach. 
  • Streamline communication and automate tasks to reduce teachers’ workload. 
  • Build a culture of communication that values open and consistent engagement. 

In conclusion, investing in family engagement training and implementing effective strategies can improve the quality of life for teachers and enhance parent-teacher collaboration.

But that’s not all! Access the complete series for a successful family engagement plan.


Share Your Parent Engagement Plan

To improve parent engagement in your school or district, start with a well-thought-out plan that outlines the strategies, actions, and support needed to foster effective communication and collaboration with families. 

When training staff on augmenting their parent engagement efforts, avoid negativity and avoid presenting a huge idea without any planning to back it up. Instead, help your staff organize their plans and support where possible in pre-chunked time-frames. 

For more on this, read the Five Questions School Leaders Should Use This Summer For Positive Parent-Teacher Relationships.

Set Boundaries

Help Teachers Set Appropriate Boundaries With Parents

Before opening up lines of communication with parents, the best practice is to help the teachers set the appropriate boundaries. Research confirms the importance of setting boundaries to manage teacher workload and well-being (Hong & Frisby, 2019). While many schools and districts have left setting boundaries up to the teachers’ discretion in the past, it may be more helpful to work on setting these boundaries in training. 

Once teachers know what the school and district approve of regarding parental availability and type of communication, they can set away messages and office hours on emails or parent-teacher communication platforms like ClassTag.

Setting Office Hours (1)

Teachers can better maintain a healthy work-life balance while supporting parents by clearly stating availability and response times. Additionally, once teachers know expected responses and preferred ways to communicate with parents, they will feel confident handling the majority of parent communications on their own. 

Don’t Sacrifice Teachers’ Downtime

Look for alternatives to providing any personal phone numbers to parents. While some teachers may be comfortable sharing their phone numbers, it is perfectly possible these days to respect the teachers’ right to personal life. 

Present a Common, Unified Front To Families

Ensure that the whole school follows the same messaging and office hour system to normalize the concept for parents and reduce negative perceptions. 

Frontload With Teachers For A Seamless School Year

Consider providing the teachers with a doc or handbook with typical parent requests and emails that are sure to come their way in the upcoming school year. Provide suggested email responses or have the teachers discuss and create appropriate responses together. This is also helpful in terms of helping teachers to know when they should go to admin with a parent email and when it’s not necessary.

Block Time for Communication

Blocking Time for Teachers to Communicate

Allocate dedicated time for family communication from the district to the school levels if it is vital to maintain regular contact with parents (which it is), set aside a specific time for teachers to dedicate to communications during the school day. 


Whether during weekly professional learning community meetings or a designated period, teachers should have some time designated for reaching out to families. By prioritizing communication, district and school leaders will find that teachers can better inform parents and address their concerns promptly. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, research shows that parental involvement and satisfaction increase when teachers set aside dedicated time for communication (Turner & Welch, 2018).

Intervene Proactively

Guide Teachers To Reach Out Proactively

While it may feel inconvenient, educators must also be prepared to take the first step in reaching out to families personally (even when they haven’t received answers in the past). 

Have you written to parents twice and are still waiting for a response? Reach out to the parents again (although it might be time to try a new outreach method)!

In the end, establishing a relationship with even the difficult-to-reach parents from the start of the school year will save the teacher time and stress later in the school year. Remember, this communication with parents must go beyond school-wide announcements; it should be personalized when possible. 

That’s because studies show proactive engagement leads to increased parent involvement, which, in turn, positively impacts student outcomes (Epstein, 2011). By actively reaching out and maintaining regular contact in a personalized fashion, teachers can address questions and concerns and provide the feedback that parents desire. This step fosters a sense of partnership, enabling parents to feel more connected and engaged in their child’s education.

Pro Tip: Delineate when it is appropriate to escalate to you or another admin member so your staff isn’t left hanging (i.e., parents haven’t responded after multiple texts, one printed message, and 2 phone calls). Your staff will appreciate your help in keeping everyone in the loop! 


Reduce Workload For Teachers

It is no secret that teachers often face many responsibilities and tasks in their day-to-day agenda. Finding effective ways to reduce their workload can significantly benefit your staff’s effectiveness and well-being. 

When it comes to parent engagement, implementing a streamlined parent-teacher communication platform for the entire school or district can be an exciting way to cut down workload while actually improving the quality of parent-teacher engagement. 

Read 7 Ways to Reduce Teacher Workload to lessen the burden on staff this year.

Build Up The Culture of Communication

Finally, to get families to buy into the school’s engagement, you can provide information to your staff about teaching a culture of communication. 

This culture of communication goes beyond information sharing.

It refers to an environment within a school or district that values and promotes open, effective, and consistent communication between teachers, parents, administrators, and students. When done correctly, a culture of communication fosters meaningful connections, relationships, and active participation so that engagement becomes second nature. 

Get our tips on building up the Culture of Communication at your school.


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The Bottom Line

Enhancing family engagement training for teachers is an investment that yields significant benefits for students, parents, and educators alike. Parents and schools are no longer at odds with one another, and with the right tools and strategies, it is possible to improve the quality of life for your educators while upping parent engagement.

By proactively reaching out to families, reducing teachers’ workload, setting boundaries, allocating time for communication, and building a culture of engagement, you can prepare your educators to create an ongoing culture of effective parent-teacher collaboration.

If you want to learn more about ClassTag or explore its features for improving parent engagement, we offer resources and a grant program to support your school or district’s needs. Book a free demo to discover how ClassTag can benefit your community.

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  • DePlanty, J., Coulter-Kern, P., & Duchane, L. (2007). A Study of the Relationship Between School-Parent-Community Partnerships and School Performance in Rhode Island. Retrieved from
  • Epstein, J. L. (2011). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Westview Press.
  • Hong, S. & Frisby, C. L. (2019). Understanding teacher work–life balance and teacher–parent communication: The role of boundary management strategies. Teaching and Teacher Education, 84, 102-112.
  • Turner, K. L., & Welch, M. (2018). Teachers’ Perspectives on Parental Involvement: A Shared Responsibility. American Journal of Education, 124(4), 477-508.

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