Parent surveys for teachers can provide valuable information and insight at the beginning of the school year. If you’re anything like me, you may collect a paper copy of a parent survey for back to school and then it sits…just waiting to be hidden under piles of ungraded papers.
Then when you need the information, you have to hunt for it.
The beauty of Google Forms is that all the information is stored in one place, in an organized spreadsheet that you don’t have to create! With a few clicks you will be able to access it all!
Creating a Parent Survey on Google Forms can seem intimidating but follow these steps and you will be on your way to organized parent information heaven!
To create a parent survey for teachers in Google Forms you will need to have a G Suite account. Make sure you are using your district G Suite account to create the survey. You don’t want to collect this information with your personal account.
Here are the steps to create your Parent Survey for Teachers in Google Forms
1. Create a new form
Create a new form by typing in forms.google.com into the web address bar. Click on the box with the plus button to create a new form. Make sure you label it appropriately and clearly for parents to understand what they are filling out. For example 2020-2021 Parent Survey or Parent Survey for Mrs. ___________.
2. Decide on the questions and kinds of responses you would like.
Here are some sample questions and the type of question that may work best.
Personal and Family Information
Student name (first and last): I like to start with this because when you look at the spreadsheet this will be the first column and it will be easier to find the information with the student name first versus the parent name. I would use the short answer question type here.
Parent/Guardian names: Use the short or long answer type question here.
Siblings and their grades: this is a great reference to know if they have siblings in the building or distirict.
Phone number and email: Yes it is probably in your school database but how many of us have gotten that disconnected number? Hopefully you will get a more accurate number that works.
Best time to reach them: You can be as specific or general as you want with this. You can use a short answer and let them tell you or you can use the checkboxes question type and have them choose from your options.
Best way to reach them: Use the checkbox or multiple choice question type here. Might use options like, email, phone call, or text message.
If you are going back virtually ask about technology and wifi availability.
Student Learning Habits and Student Specifics
Child’s strengths and weaknesses: you can be as specific or general with this question. Asking more general or academically, make sure you specify the kind of answer you want.
Child’s favorite things: Again you can choose to be as specific or general as you want.
Holidays your child does not celebrate: Makes students feel safe knowing that you already know what’s going on when that holiday comes around instead of potentially embarrassing them in front of the class on those holidays.
Allergies: Also, probably in your school data base but that information may not be updated so it’s always good to check in on this.
Open ended “Anything else you would like me to know”
To add a question use the plus sign on the side bar on the right side of the form. Use the drop down menu to select the style of question you want to ask.
Remember, parent surveys for teachers are just that…
They are for the teacher. Every teacher is different so choose just a few questions or all of them. Come up with new questions. Just make sure the information is going to be useful for you. Don’t make a long parent survey if you aren’t going to use all the information.
3. Change your settings
When creating a parent survey for teachers, make sure you have the correct settings.
Click on the settings cog icon in the top right corner.
Under General, decide if you want to collect email addresses.
If you don’t want parents to have to log into a google account to answer make sure the box that says Limit to 1 response is UNchecked.
Decide if you want parents to be able to edit after they submit. If so, make sure to check that box.
Under presentation “Show link to submit another response” may be checked. If you don’t want this option then uncheck that box.
4. Customize Your Parent Survey
Add a header image: Select themes (the painters palate on the top right) under Header —-> choose image. Choose one provided or create a custom image and upload it. Here is an example of one in Spanish and English.
Because a parent survey for teachers are created to build a connection and understanding of the families you serve, consider doing a parent survey in another language. In my last district we had a large population of Spanish speakers. Sending the survey in multiple languages helps families feel welcome and opens the door to deeper connections with them. I often use Google Translate and then have a native speaker edit it.
Change the theme colors and background colors to the ones you like!
5. Send it out
When you click on the Send button there are different options. Email it, copy the link to paste elsewhere will probably be the two options you will want to choose from. After choosing the way you will send it, get it out there!
If you have a meet the teacher night or virtual first day of school slide show it would be easy to share with parents that way. Or email it out.
6. Check out responses!
After sending it out to families, use the responses to communicate and plan for the year.
To find the responses, go into your Drive and open your form. On the top, click on Responses. It will show you different views or you can create a google sheet by clicking on the green sheets icon on the top right of the Responses view.
Taking the time to figure out the tech and coming up with your own questions is a lot to add to your full plate. I made this Google Forms Parent survey just for you to help you check it off your list! P.S. Because it’s Google Forms it’s editable too!