I received several questionnaires during the first 7 days after distributing them and even more over the next 2-3 weeks. I was so happy to see the data rolling in and couldn’t wait to enter the results into SPSS. However, after waiting for three weeks, I realized that only a little over half of the participants and inter-office mailed me the questionnaires. Did they not want to participate? Panic and anxiety hit me, with thoughts that all of this upfront work may have been for naught if people didn’t want to fill out their questionnaires.
I drove from center to center to find out why they hadn’t sent in their questionnaires. As it turns out, the teachers, much to my happiness, did want to participate. Most of the teachers had the forms filled out and waiting for me. Some stated that they thought I would come and pick it up from them, others stated that they just hadn’t made it to the front office to drop off the forms, but most of the teachers who held on to their questionnaire said that they just didn’t feel comfortable inter-office mailing it and wanted to hand it to me personally, thus eliminating the possibility of anyone else reading it. A few teachers stated that they did want to participate but hadn’t had the time to fill out the form. I advised them that I would carry on with the daily activities while they stepped out of the classroom to fill out the questionnaire. After all, if the only thing holding back the data is simply having to mind the children for 15 minutes, it would be well worth it.
Even though I had hoped to get the questionnaires back sooner, I had received all of the questionnaires back from everyone who participated. Baseline data complete!