As the school year winds down, I begin to solicit feedback by sending surveys to staff and parents. I ask them about the performance of our school and also my work. The first couple of years as an administrator, I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing such a thing. I’m not sure I was confident enough in my role and I was probably nervous about the kind of feedback I’d receive! Looking back, I wish I would’ve had a formal structure to get the thinking from others that would allow me to improve as a principal. Since I’ve started doing this, it’s been very helpful to sit back on a June day when the students are gone and see our school through a different lens. It makes me consider different perspectives and possibilities.
By administering these surveys, I hope to send the message that I welcome the thinking of others, that I have a growth mindset and a burning desire to get better at my job, and that their voice matters. With the data, I make an action plan of how I will address the issues that surface. I also share the results and/or the action plan with the people who took the time to fill out the survey so they can see some of the summative results.
Below are the surveys that I sent to parents and staff last week. I have tweaked them over the years based on how often I have been in the building, areas of focus for our school, or specific thinking I was hoping to receive. I use SurveyMonkey because it’s free, easy, and anonymous. If you need a format, feel free to use or adjust these as you’d like.
1. How would you rate Andy’s effectiveness as a principal this year?
2. Andy has helped to create a positive culture at JU for staff
3. Andy has helped to create a positive culture for students at JU
4. I feel “valued and appreciated” by Andy
5. JU has a collaborative culture with shared ownership and voice
6. JU is an enjoyable place to work
7. I see Andy’s areas of strength as:
8. Areas I think Andy can improve are:
9. Areas of strength for Jamestown Upper are…
10. Areas of growth for Jamestown Upper are…
8. My biggest PRAISE and/or THING TO CHANGE for Jamestown would be…
9. Share anything about the principal’s work you do appreciate or don’t appreciate
10. Any additional information about Jamestown or your child’s 2017-2018 school year that you’d like to share
Next year, I’d like to extend the surveys to our students. While I do exit interviews with each 5th-grader, I have not surveyed them in the past. If you have student surveys you use with elementary students, please share those with me.
Best wishes on the final weeks of school with your students. Enjoy all the end-of-the-year moments, smile, laugh, and be grateful to be part of the greatest profession in the world.