Dropping off questionnaires with the teachers is a relatively easy task and only slightly time consuming, compared to other work-related activities. But picking up the filled out questionnaires is definitely a tedious process.
My thoughts about this are purely thoughts, since I would have to run a whole other research study in order to corroborate my opinions.
It’s my thought that when dropping off the questionnaires the Head Start and Early Head Start teachers simply see it as another piece of paper that they are filling out. They simply want to be handed it and move along with their day, teaching the children, and they will review it when they have a free moment, which is never as often as one might like. After all, you hear that being a parent is the hardest job—try ‘parenting’ 20 children!
But when picking up the questionnaires, you have to prepare yourself. When I thought about completing the research project and realistically knew that some teachers would have a harder time of turning in their forms than others, I didn’t realize how time-consuming it would be to go to the classrooms to retrieve them.
Although most preschool teachers had their forms filled out, I couldn’t just pick up their questionnaires and leave. I would feel like a complete jerk who’s just using them. It’s always a good idea when you walk into a preschool room to ask how you can help, because they can always use extra support. Additionally, I always like to ask if the preschool teachers could use a bathroom break, because you just never know (although sometimes I do forget to ask).
But the real reason why it can take a while to pick up the questionnaires, and something to consider when completing this type of research, is that preschool teachers want to talk about some of the things they wrote. It seems as though, despite me not using any prompting questions, preschool teachers really want to re-explain what they wrote on their questionnaires, perhaps as a form of self-therapy whereby verbally expressing their feelings and thoughts helps to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Of course these are just anecdotal thoughts, but they’re my perceptions on how several of the preschool teachers react when I come to pick up their questionnaires.