Every year, I do several surveys at the beginning of the year, I don’t think I am the only one. As we try to get to know these kids that have come into our lives, I think it is so important to gather as much information as they are willing to tell us in order for us to be better teachers for them. But I also think about how hard it can be to answer questions those first few days of school when you don’t really know what your answers will be used for, when you are not quite sure who this person is who is asking you these questions, when you are perhaps not even sure what the questions mean.
So this year, I am changing my approach a little bit. The questions have been changed to be more of a progression of trust, not because I am under any impression that from Tuesday to Friday the students will trust me, but because I want to honor the relationships we are building and the fact that they take time. Students will be asked to answer a few questions every day, but can also choose to speak to me about these things. They are focused more specifically on what the child needs from me potentially to be successful and not so much on academics. Students will do a separate survey every day, while not ideal, it will allow me to see their answers as the week progresses and then create one answer froup per student at the end of the week.
Along with these questions, I will also give my reading and writing surveys during that first week. Those will be on paper as I place them in my conferring binder alongside the notes I take during our conversations.
Before the children have shown up, we will also have asked those at home about them. We want to reach out to parents and caregivers as experts on their children and honor the knowledge they have through a home survey. It is sent electronically before school starts and I respond to each person that takes it with follow up questions, those who do not have access to email or choose not to take it online are handed a paper version once school starts.
While the first-week surveys are not done, I am sharing here in order to receive feedback. What have I missed? What have I misworded? What would you add or remove? You are more than welcome to make a copy and make it fit your students, just please give credit. To see the surveys, please see here:
Tuesday – Go here
Wednesday – Go here
Thursday – Go here
Friday – Go here
Thank you to those who have already helped me make it better, here are all of the questions together.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child. This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.