Being a child is tough. As adults, it’s easy to look back on childhood with a powerful longing: The lack of responsibility, the freedom, the naps. It’s all very alluring through rose-tinted glasses.
But children face a world of worry and fear that we’ve long forgotten — and sometimes completely overlook. Young and unsure, children experience a depth of feeling that they don’t know how to express, and therefore never voice.
But one teacher in Denver, CO, has given her young students the platform they’ve badly needed. With just one question and a brightly-colored index card, Kyle Schwartz has unearthed her third grade students’ deepest feelings — and some of their answers are heart-breaking.
“As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students’ lives and how to best support them,” said Kyle. “I just felt like there was something I didn’t know about my students.”
And the children have greatly enjoyed sharing things about themselves: Though they were given the option to answer anonymously, most were happy to include their name.
“Even when what my students are sharing is sensitive in nature, most students want their classmates to know,” said Kyle.
Now, other teachers around the world are following in Kyle’s footsteps — and the answers they’re receiving are no less moving, proving that children all over need a listening ear.
Kyle has now published her first book, a collection of her students’ responses, entitled, “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything For Our Kids.”
Who knew that the prompt “I wish my teacher knew that…” would start such a fascinating conversation?
Please SHARE if you think we need more compassionate teachers like this!
"I wish my teacher knew that my dad works two jobs and I don't see him much."
"I wish my teacher knew that my family and I live in a shelter."
"I wish my teacher knew that we are low on money and have to go to a food bank to get food."
"I wish my teacher knew I don't have pencals at home to do my homework."
"I wish my teacher knew I don't have a friend to play with me."
"I wish my teacher knew that my brother is sleeping so hard that he is breathing to hard and loud that I can not sleep."
"I wish my teacher knew sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom is not around a lot."
"I wish Mrs. King knew that I worry because my mom is getting sick a lot and was in the hospital last night."
"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 6 years..."
"I want my teacher to know it feels like the class picks on me. I hate that."
"I wish my teacher knew that my grandma had cansewre and her docter had to cut the cansewre out. She got stichis in her arme."
"I want my teacher to know that I like to draw."
"I wish my teacher knew she is like a mother to me. I don't get to see my breth mom a lot."
"I wish my teacher knew that even though sometimes I do not get good grades that I try. Also that I get stressed but when I come to your class I feel better."
"I wish my teacher knew that I'm very proud of her because she never gives up on us and keeps being a great teacher, and I appreciate that. Thank you."
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