Kyle Schwartz, a teacher at Doull Elementary, Denver (Colorado) asked her third grade students to write down one thing they wish she knew about them. She did so in an attempt to better understand how her students’ lives and so find ways to support them, especially when a large number of the students come from underprivileged households, she said.
After she received the responses she shared them on social media using the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew. Her doing started a global movement and both teachers and students all over the world started sharing similar notes. Schwartz also runs a donation campaign in which she seeks to raise money in order to buy books for children.
The teacher explained that most of her students rely on the National School Lunch Program for support, namely 92% of them are entitled to receive free or reduced lunch. Being a new teacher she confessed that she felt that there were things she did not know about her students.
In an attempt to gain a better understanding of the reality her students live in, Schwartz told them that the lesson plan was to share something about them through this writing task: “I wish my teacher knew”. The students could choose between writing their names and handing an anonymous note. Most of the children wished to share their name. Schwartz confessed that their honesty was both astonishing and heartbreaking.
The teacher shared some of the heartbreaking notes on Twitter. She said that she cares very much about each and every one of her students and she is concerned about them. She does not wish for them to suffer the consequences of a life lived in poverty. According to her this is one of things which motivates Schwartz in her career as a teacher.
Regarding the fact that other teachers joined her movement, Schwartz commented that the teachers were very collaborative and eager to explore resources. After all, her idea was a very good way which enables teacher to support their students and all teachers wish to do so, she added.
Another goal which Schwartz has is to create a community in her classroom. After one of the girls in her classroom wrote in the note that she does not have somebody to play with, the following day Schwartz noticed that she was playing with a group of girls. She remarked that she is not the only one who can help her students, but the students can support each other as well.
Image Source: Essential Kids