I was eager to get honest feedback from the families whose children I've been serving this year. What I got instead was a stark reminder of the challenges faced by many of these families.
Responses like "she very good about art" and "I belived Mrs. Teschow had helped some for this. For parent, also try some, but not idea progress" made it clear that ESL is a major factor not just for the students, but for their families as well.
As one parent wrote, "I think my son have difficult to speaking English. not express in English at school."
Although I was a bit disappointed and actually kind of stunned at first, I am feeling far more hopeful now, having had a few days to reflect on it all. The fact that fully fifty percent of the families in my class took the time to struggle through this clearly very difficult task, and attempted to provide me with some insights, demonstrates to me a sincere interest in their children's schooling... although helping with homework in a foreign language must be incredibly challenging day to day, they nevertheless have a strong desire to partner with their children's teacher for a positive educational experience. I am so grateful for that.
As I reflect on this attempt to gather data from a such a unique group of respondents, I can't help but wonder how I might have facilitated the experience for them, resulting in greater success for all of us. Specifically, how could I have designed the survey in such a way that enabled those with limited English to participate more effectively?
Page 1 of my survey was primarily comprised of check boxes, and although in some cases, I think there were a few words and phrases which some families didn't understand, overall, the data collection seemed much simpler for those questions.
Perhaps for my open response questions on page two, I could have included illustrations, with options to check off or circle, in addition to space for opencomments if desired.
Future attempts to gather feedback of this kind will most certainly include a greater consideration of the audience!!