One of the main lessons you learned during your student teaching experience was how well parents know their own children and how sharing this knowledge with educators can inform your teaching. While you plan to collect some of this information informally, you also decide to be systematic and create a questionnaire for parents, bearing in mind that some families may not have access to a computer. You begin with basic questions about their family structure and the members of their family (e.g., if a grandparent lives with the family, the names and ages of any siblings). Given your desire to invite parents to contribute to the classroom, you also want to learn more about the subjects they’re passionate about, such as photography, music, or cooking. You also want to know if they would be willing to share these interests with your class. Last, you ask parents about their availability to participate in informal classroom events, such as reading times and performances.

Focus Assignment

1. Create a questionnaire for parents that you can print and distribute. Write a brief introduction about how you will use the information to gain greater insight into each child and their family. Next, include four to five questions about their family structure. Then, invite parents to indicate which subjects they are passionate about and whether they would be willing to share their interests with your class. Last, create a section about parents’ availability to participate in informal events.

2. Be sure to read the SELF-EVALUATION section below to guide your thinking. Write your self-evaluation after you have completed your questionnaire.


1. For each item of your questionnaire:
a. Explain how this item addresses the issues in the scenario.
2. Describe and justify how your questionnaire would improve teaching and learning in the scenario.