May 19, 2015

Using Survey Monkey To Collect Parent Feedback

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Have you ever wondered what your students' parents really think about you? Ok, maybe not. Or, maybe you think you already know. I have to admit, I can't help but wonder what is said about 2nd grade by my families as they are sitting around the dinner table, leaving the pickup line, or toiling over homework.

We teachers and parents, despite our shared interest and love for their children, can often have a very formal relationship. This is a good thing! However, we often don't say to each other everything we're thinking, and, let's face it, that's probably a good thing too! 

A few years ago, I began using a quick survey at the end of the year to get parent feedback. Let's face it: many of the decisions I make in the classroom affect them on a daily basis. I want to make sure that these decisions are helpful and important-especially if those things (like writing a newsletter, providing written commentary, or sending home weekly math homework) take up a lot of either of our time! Time is so important, and we all want to spend it in a way we find valuable.

So, I use SurveyMonkey, a free online survey building tool, to survey my parents! I don't make it too long and I don't spend lots of time trying to get feedback on every detail of my classroom. It's easy to create different types of questions, and I always leave a comment box with each one just in case! When it's ready, I send out a quick text message blast with the link, asking for them to take the survey, thanking them for the time, and promising that their feedback is important to me.

Within a few hours, I have already begun receiving helpful feedback. Take a look at this screenshot:

After a few years of feeling stressed out by sending home a weekly newsletter, I moved them to monthly. If I keep receiving feedback like this, I am going to have to rethink this decision I have made!

And how about this one:

This helps me feel good about the time I spend writing commentary and creating higher order opportunities for my students. 

Have you ever used SurveyMonkey in your classroom? Have you got any tips for me?

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