20 Questions


I just shared these 20 questions with the Coop educators. NAEYC recommends that educators consider these 20 questions every day. Compare this list with a list from other professions you might know about….it is amazing what educators keep track of and think about every day. Thank you to our amazing educators for doing all of this and so much more –

1. Did I know everything I needed to know about each child today? Did I notice each child’s mood, apparent health, and general sense of well-being and engagement?

2. Have I checked in with each child’s family lately, either through drop-off conversations, written notes, or emails, to provide updates and receive updates? Are there any cultural issues I should address with a particular family, such as asking about upcoming holidays or activities?

3. Did I feel like I had a good relationship with each child today? Did I show warmth and appreciation for each child’s presence and efforts today? Did I acknowledge their comments and behaviors in positive ways?

4. Is there any child I need to have special time with or help in any unique way tomorrow, based on my observations, other teachers’ observations, child comments, or parent updates?

5. Do I know the objectives for children’s learning for today/this week/this unit?

___ For physical development (fine motor and gross motor)

___ For social and emotional development

___ For approaches to learning, including enthusiasm, attention, persistence, and flexibility

___ For advances in knowledge content and mastery of concepts

6. Do the objectives for today/this week build on what we did previously? Do I need to make any connections for the children?

7. Does the classroom environment match the objectives? Does it look cheerful, tidy, and interesting for the children? Do I need to change any of the materials, centers, or wall displays to keep things fresh?

8. Have I been using a wide range of teaching strategies this week, including:

___ modeling problem solving

___ sharing my thought processes out loud

___ encouraging children and acknowledging good work

___ providing new information such as facts and new vocabulary

___ demonstrating correct ways to do something and giving direct instruction

___ giving specific feedback on areas for improvement

___ giving assistance and asking questions to advance each child’s level

___ adjusting the level of challenge (simplifying or adding complexity) to meet each child’s level

9. Have I been using various learning formats, including:

___ large groups (whole class together)

___ small groups

___ play/learning centers and outdoor time when the child can do what he/she wants

___ daily routines (taking advantage of arrivals and departures, snack times, transitions)

10. Have I thoughtfully considered based on children’s level of engagement whether to move on or allow more time on this unit/theme/skill? Am I sure the amount of time allotted is sufficient for every child?

11. Have I taken stock of each child’s progress and mastery related to the objectives?

12. Have I made records of each child’s progress through notes from observations, interviews, and conversation; photos; and/or portfolios?

13. Have I observed the child in different contexts and settings?

14. Have I asked the family for information in relevant areas?

15. Have I checked in with other teachers/aides about each child’s well-being and success toward their goals?

16. Have I considered whether language and/or home culture is influencing children’s performance in each area? Do I need to reassess any child in any area or get help from someone else to accurately understand any child’s performance and well-being?

17. Do I need to adjust the teaching plans based on what I know from the assessments?

18. Is there any aspect of my schedule, environment, plans, materials, or interactions with children, parents, or colleagues that I feel stuck on or unsure about? Is there any child I’m worried about for any reason? Have I asked for help yet (from supervisors, colleagues, family members, specialists, or online communities)?

19. Do I feel like I made a positive difference in someone’s life today? Did I smile, laugh, and enjoy the day?

20. If not, what one step can I take to make things better tomorrow?

Author: Gail Ader

Early childhood education is my passion and I have worked in this field since 1998, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. Child centered learning in a supportive and developmentally appropriate setting is the key to high quality programs. As the Executive Director at the Cooperative Learning Community my focus is on supporting my team so that they can focus on their children and families.