DENVER, Colo. (WKRN) – A third grade teacher in Colorado is sharing with the world the heartbreaking letters she recently received from her students.
According to ABC News, Kyle Schwartz wanted to build trust with her students at Doull Elementary in Denver, Colorado. She came up with a lesson plan called “I Wish My Teacher Knew.”
The assignment asked students to write down something they wish their teacher knew about them.
“I let students determine if they would like to answer anonymously,” said Schwartz. “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 said 92 percent of the students at her school quailify for free and reduced lunch and are underprivileged.
“Some notes are heartbreaking like the first #iwishmyteacherknew tweet which read, ‘I wish my teacher knew I don’t have pencils at home to do my homework,’” she told ABC News. “I care deeply about each and every one of my students and I don’t want any of them to have to suffer the consequences of living in poverty, which is my main motivation for teaching.”
Schwartz was so blown away by her students’ responses that she decided to post some of them to Twitter.
This sparked the #iwishmyteacherknew campaign which has inspired teachers around the world to ask their students the very same question.
“I think it caught on so fast because teachers are highly collaborative and freely share and explore resources,” Schwartz explained. “In the end, all teachers want to support their students, and #iwishmyteacherknew is a simple and powerful way to do that.”
She continued, “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.”