Understanding how your students are feeling is essential to creating a safe and supportive learning environment. Assessing where your students are emotionally and academically is a powerful way to elevate student voices on a consistent basis—whether weekly or monthly—and to identify the students who need extra help right now.
The following questions can be adapted for youth of all ages. Genuinely listening to and knowing the answers, and following up when necessary, helps create positive conditions for learning.
Questions To Promote Connection and Strengthen Relationships
- When do you feel you are being listened to?
- Who makes you laugh at school?
- When do you feel cared for and about?
- When do you get a chance to be a leader?
- When do you feel most safe/unsafe?
Questions To Ask Anytime Throughout The School Year
- Who believes you can succeed?
- What happens in school that makes you afraid? Disappointed? Defeated?
- How do you feel supported when you’re faced with a challenge?
- Who is always happy to talk to you about a tough question you have?
- When do you feel it’s OK to make a mistake, or show that you don’t know something or how to do something?
Use these and other thought-provoking questions—followed by supportive discussions—to continue to get to know your students, build their reflection skills, and positively influence their social and emotional resiliency.