In Denver, Kyle Schwartz teaches third grade at Doull Elementary. She stated that it is great teaching her students, but a lot of them do come from underprivileged homes. She felt there was something her students weren’t telling her and she wanted to build trust between them, so she came up with a lesson plan: “I Wish My Teacher Knew.”
In this lesson, the students would write down something they would like their teacher to know about them. Schwartz said: “I let students determine if they would like to answer anonymously. I have found that most students are not only willing to include their name, but also enjoy sharing with the class. Even when what my students are sharing is sensitive in nature, most students want their classmates to know.”
Schwartz decided to share them on Twitter, with #IWishMyTeacherKnew and it went viral and prompted other teachers to get involved. Some of the notes are funny and some of the notes will break your heart, like the first letter she shared on Twitter:
It is such a great idea and lesson plan, but get ready for the tears to come on this one, as Schwartz added: “Building community in my classroom is a major goal of this lesson. After one student shared that she had no one to play with at recess, the rest of the class chimed in and said, ‘we got your back.’ The next day during recess, I noticed she was playing with a group of girls. Not only can I support my students, but my students can support each other.”
Teachers like this are the ones that should be getting the spotlight and not the ones doing terrible things. These students will always remember this lesson and always remember their amazing third grade teacher.