Schools and teachers are fast to act. Part of what makes educators so great is our ability to act, respond, plan, and react. Being still? Not as much our strength. While earning extra money is one reason educators work extra jobs, the other reality is we tend to be doers. But at this time we may be being asked to slow down and be still. Parents are asking questions – and we want to give them a space to do so.
At Possip, we believe in the power of questions. It is also a trait borrowed from our experiences as teachers. According to ASCD, educators ask up to 400 questions a day, around 70,000 a year, or two to three million over the course of a career.
The Power of Questions
Questions are embedded into education. Sometimes we don’t always have the answers–that’s okay. It’s important for school leaders to also ask questions to the community members in a school, especially during times of crisis. We will never know what parents and families need during difficult times unless we ask. Asking good questions leads to safer conditions for our students, increased family engagement, and overall stronger schools.
After supporting many of our schools through the Nashville tornado disaster relief needs, we are currently using our weekly pulse checks to see what families need and what questions they have about Coronavirus. An example of one of these questions is, “Is there anything else the school can do to support either your student or you through this period of uncertainty?”
We wanted to share trends with you that we noticed parents are asking in our reports from this weekend. These are what real parents across the country really want to know about Coronavirus and how it impacts them directly. You can think through proactive communication around these topics and you’ll be ready to problem-solve answers to these questions. We may not have the answers yet, but letting parents know that you care what they are concerned about and working on addressing these questions will go a long way.
Trends of Questions Parents Have Now
- What happens if parents don’t have internet access or it’s very slow?
- What internet connection bandwidth requirements are needed for online course platforms like zoom?
- Are there tablets, laptops, or chromebooks available for students without technology?
- How do parents update their contact information to stay updated on future communications?
Food and Safety
- Where do parents go to pick up food bags?
- How can you get your child tested for COVID-19?
- What safety steps will be taken for students who traveled for spring break?
- How will districts and schools communicate future plans for Coronavirus prevention and school closings?
Calendar and Operations
- Are graduation plans changing due to school cancellation? Will students still receive their diploma if they are seniors?
- Is the school staff continuing to be paid?
- How will the district make-up these days? Will districts be altering the school calendar?
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss answers to these questions or would like to use Possip to engage families or staff during this season.