Guardian Feedback Survey 2019-2020

For the second year now I have sent out a survey to guardians in my last couple emails that go out to everyone. I really value family communication and it’s something I take pride in even though I know I can do better. I was hoping guardians would take the survey and share with me if I am doing what they expect.

Here’s a link to make a copy of the survey I gave:

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I have been pleased with the results, but I really only am seeing a handful of responses. Last year I got 3 responses, this year I got 13. To distribute the survey, I put it in the middle of an email I sent to all my families about 2 weeks before school ended and then I put it at the end of a second email 2 days before school ended. Also, as I mentioned in my last survey reflection post, this really only gets to my second semester families because of schedule changes. I actually had made a survey for the Fall but totally forgot to send it out. 😢 If anyone has advice for how to get more families to take the survey, please let me know!

Based on the results, next year I will plan on continuing to use my Weekly Summaries, class social media (Twitter and Instagram), class website, Google Classroom w/Guardian Summaries, and my monthly-ish newsletter-type emails home. I also, as always, want to get better at making phone calls home and finding a positive thing to email or call home about each day. I just need to find a good system for that. I gave myself a lot of excuses this year with phone calls because my only plan periods were 2nd and 3rd so they were early and I didn’t want to disturb people (but then again aren’t I always disturbing their day with a phone call?). Next year I have 2nd and 8th period off so I want to make my end-of-day routine include the positive communication. Gonna ponder on how I can hold myself to that over this summer break. Again, advice is welcome!

Disclaimer: These results that follow are being published because I like to go back and review them and see how things have changed/improved throughout the years. The rest of this post probably won’t be too useful for readers who aren’t me, but feel free to read if you wish! Since I never posted about this last year, I’m including this year and last year’s results in this post. 2019-2020 is in regular font, 2018-2019 is in italics. I didn’t ask the three “Did you…” questions last year.

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Last year: Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 8.11.00 PM

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 6.13.59 PMScreen Shot 2020-06-12 at 6.13.50 PMScreen Shot 2020-06-12 at 6.13.42 PM

What do you think Mrs. Grayson did to help your student be successful this year/semester?

  • Gave C*** several example problems so she could see visually how everything works.
  • Kept learning fresh and different
  • My student missed a lot of days 1st semester, and it was very helpful that she was available to offer her assistance before school.
  • Great communication with parents
  • She tried but I believe it is harder because of the quarantined
  • Offered extra help after class
  • Always available to help him out with things he didn’t understand
  • She made sure he had individual help when needed
  • She was always proactive and was great at communicating. I like the e-learning tools!
  • Fun class activities that helped him love math again.
  • Gave ample opportunity to make work up
  • Nothing
  • communication to students and parents, easy accessibility to pertinent information (calendar, assignments, extra online help) and offing extra help (before and after school)

What do you think Mrs. Grayson could have done differently to help your student be more successful this year/semester?

  • Nothing. She did a great job.
  • Nothing
  • I can’t think of anything.
  • Nothing! great job! L***s is my 4th child and this has by FAR been the best 9th grade advanced math experience.
  • Nothing. She was very helpful when ever asked
  • Nothing. She already went above and beyond!
  • Nothing I am aware of.
  • Be more positive with students
  • I think Mrs Grayson did a great job, and I know my son was more successful because of her extra efforts!

What do you think Mrs. Grayson did to help you be involved in your learner’s math education?

  • I loved getting the emails and I loved I could see pictures on social media of all the students working.
  • Creative activities to keep Kids engaged
  • The weekly updates were very helpful. She also posted grades very quickly so that I always knew the status of assignments and tests/quizzes.
  • Weekly emailsvwere MUCH appreciated!
  • Email updates
  • Contacted me if there was a concern
  • She sent weekly update emails and always responded to my questions immediately.
  • I like the google classroom updates
  • Weekly emails, prompt communication.
  • Weekly notes
  • frequent communication

What do you think Mrs. Grayson could have done differently to help you be more involved in your learner’s math education?

  • Nothing.
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing!
  • Nothing. She was always very helpful
  • Nothing. She already went above and beyond!
  • Nothing, she provided the bridge and it is then up to the parent/guardian to use the information extended to them to springboard off of into engagement with the student.

Anything else you want to tell Mrs. Grayson?

  • Thank you for being so patient with C***. Your hard work that you put into your math class and your students doesn’t go unnoticed.
  • Loved the communication and feedback
  • Thank you so much for helping J*** out 1st semester, and encouraging him to work hard!
  • Thanks for sending updates to me
  • thank you for your good communication and hard work
  • X**** (9th grade) says Mrs. Grayson is the only teacher that cares about him.
  • Thank you for going above and beyond to help keep him on task.
  • You are a wonderful teacher! Have a great summer!
  • Thanks for being a great teacher.
  • Thanks so much for being a wonderful teacher.
  • Thank you for ALL your extra efforts! I wish more high school teachers would involve parents like you have this year. Also, had you not provided the finals schedule, I probably would not have seen it!

La communication avec mes familles, c’est en quelque sort mon truc.

Family Communication – Let The Students Contribute To The Process! (NCTM Regional Presentation 11/30/17)

On 11/30/17, I presented a Burst session about Family Communication. The goal of this session is to set up procedures to have students contribute to the process.

Here is the Google Slides presentation I used:

Here is the handout that I gave with the links: NCTM Family Comm Handout (pdf)
Weekly Summary Explanation
Class Twitter Feed Explanation
Parent Survey Explanation
Parent Contact Log Explanation

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Je peux parler de la communication avec les familles pendent des heures.


Parent Survey

At the beginning of the year, I attached the link to a Parent Survey at the end of my syllabus. That got me a handful of responses. I also sent it out in my first few mass email newsletters. I’ve gotten 14 responses, so a very small portion of my students’ parents. But hey, something is better than nothing, right?

Here is a copy of what I sent:

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I decided to ask for information about when their learner was successful and not successful, and I’ve gotten some really great insight from that. It helped me see into some of the past experiences that my learners had faced. I was happy to see that all of them could share a time when the learner had academic success. There was also a lot of wincing on my part when I read what some of them went through to give academic difficulty. All of the responses were helpful.

I also made sure to put a note about when to contact home in my class roster spreadsheet that I keep. Most of the time it was if the learner was failing, but there have been a few times this semester where I’ve had to contact about a different thing that the parents asked for.

Also, the best thing I changed about this survey from last year is that I set it so that I get an email notification every time the survey is completed. That’s helped me keep up with the responses way better.

Is there anything I should change about my survey?

Je veux communiquer avec tous des parents de mes étudiants. Un jour.

Class Twitter Page (Updated 11/27/17)


One way that I communicate with parents is by my Class Twitter (an idea I stole from Annie Forest). At the end of every week, I have students do a Weekly Summary. One of the prompts they have for that is to answer the “Tweet Question”. Guardians do not see these answers when they get the emails. That’s because I curate the tweets to put on our class Twitter. I usually use one tweet per period. I have the Twitter feed on my class website and currently have 5 followers…but some students have said that they just look on my website. I also post pictures from class on the class Twitter. I haven’t gotten any parent comments about it yet. Honestly I don’t know if any look at it. I just keep putting reminders that it’s there when I send my unit emails and, if nothing else, it’s nice for me to chronicle the year.

The Tweet Questions I ask can be something about the current topic, or can be more general. Some examples:

  • What is the most difficult part about ____?
  • What is one piece of advice you’d give about ___?
  • How can you use ____ in a real-life situation?
  • What do you wish your teacher knew about you?
  • What is one good thing that happened this week?
  • What is your goal for next week?
  • What is your favorite ____ and why?

I try to get one per class to post but sometimes I do more.

J’espère que les parents apprécient les mises à jour.

Weekly Summaries (Updated 11/27/17)

Parent communication is hard. At the start of last year, my principal mentioned something his old school did where students texted their parents during the day with kind of a status update on how they’re doing in classes and what they’ve been doing. I took this idea and tried to do it daily but that was a little much, so I made it into a Weekly Summary. Students do these at the end of the week (mostly Fridays but sometimes Thursday if we have Friday off or something like that).

I made a Google Form for each class and used a few Add-ons to make it so that when the students submitted it, a copy of their responses would be sent home to their guardian email and cc’d to me. The link to the Google Form is posted on the home page of my class website. Here is what I ask them to answer:

  1. What they did in class this week
  2. What they learned in class this week
  3. A rating of how they’re feeling about class
  4. The response to the day’s Tweet Question
  5. Anything else they want to say.

Also, the form will automatically pull the student’s grade to put in there (I have to copy it from my gradebook into my Class Roster spreadsheet that’s referenced in the directions below). Students were surprised the first time that it actually went to their parents (I guess my disclaimer at the top wasn’t convincing enough). Since I receive an email, I am able to check this and send additional notes to guardians if necessary. I use the responses, especially the ratings of how they’re feeling in class, to help me know who I need to talk to most and what I need to address.

These are what students see:


This is what I see, either in the spreadsheet (which I really only look at to get the Tweets) and the emails that get sent home:


My favorite student comments about this process were along the lines of: “Ugh I wish we didn’t have to do this. It makes my parents want to talk to me about class!” I did have students that told me they liked the process, though. Some of them write notes to their parents, like what they hope to have for dinner, in the “Anything

I do not get too many parent responses (I set up the email so that they would reply to me). It did keep guardians updated and I hear from them that they appreciated the updates. I did get one response that stood out. It is an email from a board member that teaches in another district. She said:
Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 8.28.04 AMTeacher sharing for the win! So since this was a pretty important person that was requesting it, I spent some time making sure my directions were good. I will admit, they are pretty long and it will probably take at least 30 minutes to set up your first class, but after the setup, it just always works. I’ve never had an issue.

Here are the directions: Class Update Directions (docx)    Class Update Directions (pdf)

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I want to be in touch with families more. The Weekly Summaries helped, but I know it doesn’t reach everyone. The ones that don’t have an email, unfortunately, do not get a weekly update, so I try to call those families.

Il faut communiquer avec les parents, mais c’est très difficile.