Kids’ Notes To Teachers Reveal The DEVASTATING Struggles Of American Children (IMAGES) » New Century Times
News You are Interested In

Social Navigation

  • Recent Posts
  • Kids’ Notes To Teachers Reveal The DEVASTATING Struggles Of American Children (IMAGES)

    Education, News

    Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher at Doull Elementary in Denver, Colorado. Like many teachers throughout America, some of her students come from struggling, underprivileged homes or unstable environments, which can affect how they act and perform in school. Schwartz said:

    “Ninety-two percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch. As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students’ lives and how to best support them. I just felt like there was something I didn’t know about my students.”

    Feeling like she couldn’t fully get the grasp of her students’ lives through her standard teaching, Schwartz decided to try the “I wish my teach knew…” assignment, asking each child to finish the sentence. The results were eye-opening:

    “I wish my teacher knew that my mom might get diagnosed with cancer this week and I’ve been without a home three different times this year alone.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    Through just one sentence, Schwartz learned that many of her students were struggling with poverty, parents that were divorced or not around, as a few students shared:

    “I wish my teacher knew I don’t have pencils at home to do my homework.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    “I wish my teacher knew that sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom isn’t around a lot.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    “I wish my teacher knew how much I miss my dad because he got deported to Mexico when I was 3 years old and I haven’t seen him in six years.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    For Schwartz, the exercise helped her realize how much the struggles that her students were facing in their lives outside of school greatly affected their success rate in the classroom. Schwartz began to share her lesson more widely, and other teachers caught on. Before she knew it, Schwartz’s exercise had gone viral with the Twitter hashtag “#iwishmyteacherknew”.

    “I wish my teacher knew I don’t have friends to play with me.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    “I wish my teacher knew that my dad works two jobs and I don’t see him much.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    “I wish my teacher knew that my little brother gets scared and I get worried about getting up every night.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    “I wish my teacher knew that my family and I live in a shelter.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    “I wish my teacher kew that my mom and dad are divorced, and I am the middle child of seven kids. Five out of that seven are boys.”

    Kyle Schwartz

    The responses and insights into the lives of young American students has been so powerful that Schwartz has collected all of the notes and put them in her recently published book, “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything For Our Kids.” In her book, Schwartz emphasizes how important it is that teachers and families work together and she discusses mistakes that might have been preventable if she had only known what her students were going through. She said:

    “I really want families to know how intentional teachers are about creating a sense of community and creating relationships with kids. Kids don’t learn when they don’t feel safe or valued.”

    “As teachers, we know parents are the first and best teachers for their children and we want them to work with us.”

    Hopefully through Schwartz’s amazing lesson, we can learn how to better help and support America’s youth so that they never have to feel alone.

    Featured image via Kyle Schwartz

    Patti Colli

    My passion is bringing attention to human rights and equality issues. In addition to writing for New Century Times and other political platforms, I also run a website and digital magazine dedicated to social issues and promoting equality in all forms.