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Principal's Weekly Message 8-26-19

Dear Blossomwood Families,

If your family is similar to mine, my wife and I have been guilty of asking our children, "How was school today?" and been frustrated by the lack of a response. Other times, we may have struggled to think of what to ask, or perhaps we were all too tired to have a quality conversation. As a teacher and principal, I have often wished that students would share some of the fantastic things from school with their families.

Recently, I read an article by Elena Aquilar in coordination with the George Lucas Educational Foundation, and she suggested a number of questions that draw out pertinent information during conversations with children.

With slight modifications, she suggests the following questions can be helpful with children from various age groups:

  1. Tell me about a moment today when you felt excited about what you were learning.
  2. Think about what you learned and did in school today. What's something you'd like to know more about? What's a question you have that came from your learning today?
  3. Were there any moments that you felt proud of yourself?
  4. Tell me about a conversation you had with a classmate or friend that your enjoyed.
  5. What was challenging about your day?
  6. What did you learn about yourself today?
  7. Is there anything that you'd like to talk about that I might be able to help you figure out?
  8. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  9. What was your favorite part of your day?
  10. Is there a question you wish I'd ask you about your day?

How and when we ask these questions can make a significant difference in the response that we receive. For example, we would not want to ask all of the questions on the same day. Perhaps, you could ask one or two of the questions and with time you might be able to determine which ones produce quality responses. In addition, dinner time and during the ride home are often excellent opportunities for these conversations.

Lastly, here are a few additional suggestions to help produce positive conversations with our children:

  1. Avoid interrupting.
  2. Ask for more. ("Tell me more about that..." or "I'd like to hear more about that...")
  3. Ask about their feelings. ("How did that make you feel?")
  4. Validate feelings. (Let them know whatever he/she feels is normal.)
  5. Share personal stories from your life experiences.

Have a great week and appreciate conversations with your child.

Bradley A. Scott, Ed.D.