The one question I would ask my students’ parents…

You know your child better than anyone else. Is there anything you would like to share with me?

This question is perkily printed on a white piece of paper and has lots of space underneath. It is open ended on purpose and is what I used to ask parents on their second grade back to school questionnaire.

I also printed What does your child not like?

I got these questions from another teacher who was kind enough to share her questionnaire with me.

I loved reading parents’ answers. One parent disclosed how they had just moved here and how their child had failed last year. This info had not been listed anywhere in their records except on my survey and I was glad to have it. I made a mental note to make sure that this child would thrive. And he did! He was an avid artist and a strong gymnast, often walking on his hands at recess time. He had a smile that reminded me of a Disney character.

One parent shared how their child did not not like anything. I was surprised but after teaching their child, confided to her that she was right- her child was indeed happy-go-lucky and seemed to pretty much like everything!

One parent shared how their child hated being splashed in the face with water.

These little notes made me smile as well as reflect.

As parents of young children, we do know our child best and it is interesting to see when we are asked such questions, what will we share?

I read the famous radio broadcaster Terry Gross from NPR asks interviewees, Tell me about yourself…

If you were asked today, So, tell me about yourself… what would you say?

If you have a child going to school and had to share with a teacher, You know your child better than anyone else. Is there anything you would like to share with me? , what would you say?

When we are given the opportunity to share, are we surprised by what is on the tip of our tongues?

Maybe the purpose of these open ended questions is to crack us open, pry open our thoughts, so that when we share, everything flows…

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