You can learn a lot about your students’ abilities from prior work, testing, and records. But records alone aren’t the best way to learn who your students are. Getting to know your students in a way that builds meaningful connections and authentic relationships comes from gathering information directly from primary sources — students and their families.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right questions to ask about students who learn and think differently. That’s where student and family questionnaires come in handy. If you think of yourself as an investigator, these questionnaires are tools to help you crack the case. They give you an opportunity to ask and learn about a students’ strengths, interests, and challenges.
Interviewing students’ families can help you gather clues and begin a healthy partnership in support of your students. They know what brings their child joy, what causes frustration, and how the child reacts in different settings. These are insights you don’t have access to without asking. As educators, we know families are the foremost experts on their kids. It’s critical to get their unique perspective before a student starts to struggle.