Getting to know our students is such a huge part of those first weeks of “back to school”…and the thought of doing it virtually only adds to the anxiety of a new year. Whether you are returning to in-person instruction, virtual, or blended, it’s essential to find ways to get to know about your students and to connect with them, and student surveys are one way to do just that. Social-Emotional Learning is more than an educational buzzword; it’s a critical issue that we must keep in mind as we plan for instruction. Our children are more at risk than ever, and our role as educators is far more involved than simply teaching them reading and math. We have to get to know them as little humans AND as learners.
There are so many emotions and thoughts (for students AND teachers!) to manage this year in addition to tackling the instructional challenges of rigorous standards and possible gaps in learning from the impact of our spring impromptu virtual experiences. Sometimes we need to just bite off little bits of that giant elephant in the room. Let’s grab onto something simple and tangible to start the year.
Why is doing a student survey a great way to start the year?
- It is a great way for you and your students to get to know each other…
- Student surveys help children feel valued and that their ideas matter.
- It allows tons of flexibility with both print and digital versions…
- It is a great way to start the year by talking about goal setting, strengths and learning styles….
- The information gathered can allow you to celebrate how you are all alike AND different in so many ways—and that’s what makes every class special…
- It is a great way for you to collect information about your students’ thoughts about technology and virtual learning–critical for today’s world of education…
- It allows you to get insight as to your students’ likes, dislikes, interests, worries, and so much more…
- You can use many slides over and over to “take the temperature” of your class and see how their thoughts and feelings are changing
How do I get started making a student survey?
What do you want to know? What would help you best serve your students? Do you need to know how they are feeling about going back to school? Do you want to know about their friends and families? Is it important to know about their technology skills? Their worries? Once you’ve decided, you can get going.
Consider the age of your students. How much reading do you want them to do? How much writing? Would you rather have them do it on paper or digitally? Do you want them to rank things or answer in a more “free” way. Rating scales, likert scales (“on a scale of 1 to 5”), and even emojis can be used to help students show their thoughts about a given question. All of these are considerations as you decide how to collect this information.
Want some that are ready to use?
At the time of writing this post, I am still unsure about what my school year will look like. Will it be in person? Virtual? A blend? Because of this, I’m trying to start to prep my school year with flexible ideas that can be used in any situation. I’ve taken some of my own surveys, modified them, and added on to them–and made them digital as well. I started working and then realized that others might find them useful as well. Here’s what the description says:
This customizable print and digital back to school survey is a great way to get to know students at the beginning of the year and to address social-emotional needs as we get to know our students. This resource also includes options to ask students about their virtual learning experiences to help you get to know them as technology users.
The survey can be printed (either color or black and white) and used in class or can be customized digitally by selecting the slides you want to use to make your own survey. There are 27 different slides, so pick and choose the ones that will work best for your needs! Check out the preview to see exactly what options you have.
If it seems like something you are interested in, just click here or the image below. I’ve made a preview AND a preview video so you can see exactly what you get. Hope this helps as a part of your back to school planning!