Teachers are often considered to be our second parents. As we grow, some of us spend more time in school compared to our own homes. While we are there, our teachers guide us, lead us, inspire us, and teach us countless of lessons that we bring with us long after school. However, despite their best intentions, there are just some things that they don’t know about their students. A teacher wanted to find out how to best serve her students by identifying their needs. She launched an annual campaign that has now been adopted by many other educators across the world.
CNN’s Jamie Gumbrecht wrote:
Every year, Denver teacher Kyle Schwartz passes out Post-it notes to her third grade students and asks them to complete the sentence, “I wish my teacher knew …”
Many of the students she teaches at Doull Elementary just wish they had something in common with her, that she knew soccer or video games.
But sometimes, their wishes bring tears to her eyes, and offer a glimpse of painful struggles in their young lives.
Here are some of the photos of the answers by Kyle’s students:
The students were given an option to submit their answers anonymously, but Kyle narrated how most of them opted to include their name. Some even chose to read their answers out loud. One of the success stories she shared is how after her student shared that she wanted to have playmates, Kyle saw a group of students playing with her the following day. It made her realize that this didn’t only give her an opportunity to help her students–even the students themselves could help each other.
Kyle retweets photos posted by other educaters through her Twitter account, @kylemschwartz. Some of the photos are funny. Some are inspiring, Some impart important lessons on emphathizing with people.
Whether these photos moved you or not, there are many things we could take away from this project, including being more sensitive to the needs of others, becoming braver in voicing out our struggles and questions, and harnessing the power of social media, and identifying improvements needed in the educational system.
What about you? How would you complete the sentence, “I wish my teacher knew______________.”? What was the most life-changing question a teacher has ever asked you? Let us know in the comments!