Questions to Ask Your Children About School
I have been teaching seminary now
for 12 years, which, by the way is SO much longer than my original plan. But, and, however… what a blessing it has been. There have been so many unintended lessons I have learned along this journey, and one of them is that I will completely and unfailingly be very interested in what my children are doing, thinking, and saying while they are at school. You see, I KNOW that my student’s parents absolutely love their children, and I know that I see their children in ways that they will never have the opportunity to see them. I see them without their parents, surrounded by peers (some good influences, and some not), and members of the opposite sex. This is all a very interesting formula that reveals a lot about each individual who wades into this world. Character is revealed.
One of the things that I LOVE to do
is call up a mother and father and let them know that they should be so very proud of their child. That their son or daughter is strong, and kind, and good. And to be honest, I have a whole lot of phone calls to make right now – there are some amazing youth out there. AND, I also get to see them, with kids their own age – which allows me to see what certain gifts and abilities certain kids have already developed beyond their peers. It is all a very interesting thing to witness.
So with all of this in my mind, I know that one day, when I have kids in school – I want to know what is happening there – not just physically, but what is happening in their heads and hearts. So, I have compiled a list of questions. Questions that I could ask my children. Probably not all at once in a sit-down interview, but just one at a time. And, each of these could have a whole lot of follow up questions, and listen to what they are saying. Out of everything they could answer, listen to what they choose to say… or not say. What comes first? What do they brush off, or not want to talk about? And I hope to have “eyes that can see afar off” (Moses 6:27) “watching… with all perseverance” (Ephesians 6:18). I want to see and hear what they are really saying. What will their answers reveal to me?
Questions About their Classes:
- Which class do you learn the most in?
- Which teacher do you admire the most?
- What is your favorite subject?
- What part of the day do you look forward to the most?
- Do kids text in class?
- What do you say when other kids want to “borrow” your assignment because they didn’t do theirs?
- How do kids cheat in school?
- Who is someone in your classes you have gotten to know lately?
- Do you get along with all of the kids in your classes?
- Who is your favorite teacher?
- Which class do you have the most friends in?
- Where do you sit in class?
- What has been your favorite lesson so far this year?
- Which class do you struggle with the most?
- What have you been the most proud about this year?
- What do you do when other kids are disrespecting other students?
- What do you do when other kids are disrespecting the teacher?
- Which teacher do you learn the most from?
- Which class do you get the most excited to go to?
- Which class do you dread the most?
- What class do you get the most bored in?
- What are some things that make it harder to learn?
- What teachers, do you feel, really care about you?
- Who is another student in your class that you really admire?
Questions About Specific Teachers:
- What is your favorite things about this teacher?
- What do you respect about them?
- Do the other students respect them?
- What do you think your teacher is trying to accomplish?
- What do YOU do to help them accomplish that?
- Is there anything special you have done to help them?
- Where is that teacher from?
- Have they told you any fun stories about their life?
- What is a quality they have that you want to have yourself?
- What is the best thing they have taught you?
Questions About THEIR Talents:
- What class comes the easiest to you?
- What class keeps your attention the best?
- What has been your favorite assignment this year?
- What are some things your teachers compliment you on?
- What are some things your teachers rely on you for (over the other students)?
- What are some things your friends compliment you on?
- What are some things you get in trouble for the most?
- Why do you do this? What are you trying or hoping to get from that?
- What assignment have you learned the most from this year?
- What is a subject you have learned this year that you want to learn more about?
- What is something you have done that was hard for you, but you are glad you did it?
- What is something that you are afraid to do at school?
- What class or subject do you notice that you catch onto faster than others?
- Is it easy for you to talk with others that aren’t a lot like you?
- Do you learn better when your teacher uses the board to teach, or when they just tell you?
- Do you learn better when your teacher explains something, or when they have you do it yourself?
- Do you like group assignments or individual assignments?
- How do you act when your teacher gives you homework?
- Do you tell your teachers “thank you”?
Questions About Their Social Life:
- Who do you hang out with the most at school?
- What is it like in the halls?
- Where is your locker? What do you do there?
- Where can you usually find your friends? Why there?
- Is there anything that makes you nervous or anxious in the halls?
- Which of your friends do you admire the most?
- What do you think other kids at school think of your group of friends?
- Who do you sit with at lunch?
- Do you sit with the same kids every day?
- Do you enjoy lunch?
- Are there any new kids at school?
- What do you think some of their worries and concerns are?
- Are they any kids who get bullied a lot?
- What do you do when your friends are gossiping about other friends?
- Are there some kids who are lonely?
- Are there some kids who are loners and say they don’t want friends?
- Do kids often skip class? Where do they go?
- How do the kids treat the principal?
- How do the kids treat the hall monitors?
- Who are some friends you have, that will always be really proud of how they acted at school?
Hi, I started reading your blog just now because sugardoodle placed a link to your scripture journals. Let me tell you that I am a mother of three; my oldest is a 13 years old girl and this post really got to me because of her. I have always felt the same way (as I’m sure many parents do as well). I want to be there all the time and see what my children do when not around us, to defend them, to protect them, to make sure they are polite, etc. She will start high school in the fall and we need to talk and talk with her, but mostly listen like you say. I am going to copy your questions, place them in a binder for my husband to use during his personal interviews with our children, and one for me to ‘memorize’ and use as ideas on how to have conversations with her. Thank you!
Glad I peeked in to see what you have to say about talking with our children. Mine are all grown up with families of their own. I think this would be great for all of us grandmothers to share with the grandkids when they come to visit. I’m always interested in what the next generation is thinking and what they are up to. I look into my grand-babies eyes and wish I could know what they are thinking. You can see their little minds working. I don’t think the veil closes up right away after they are born. I’m sure angel’s are helping with the transition. Oh, how I would love to hear what is being said.