This Elementary School Teacher Asked Her Kids What They Wish She Knew And I’m Not Crying You Are

Colorado elementary school teacher Kyle Schwartz had been working at Doull Elementary for five years when she decided she wanted to know her kids a little better. She asked her third-grade class to finish the following sentence: “I wish my teacher knew…”

When she collected the responses, she was shocked. She’d had no idea how many of her eight- and nine-year-olds were struggling outside of the classroom. Some suffered from poverty; some with alienation; some with absent or divorced parents; some with insecurity.

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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz

The impact these notes had on Schwartz’ entire notion of the teacher-parent-child dynamic was enormous. Last year, she decided to share her discovery by posting some of her kids’ notes on Twitter, prompting the trending of hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew. She encouraged other educators to try similar exercises with their students, many of whom were also inspired to share the notes they received.

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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz

Schwartz featured many of these notes in her recently-published book “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything For Our Kids.” In it, she stresses the importance of teacher-parent communication and partnership for the ultimate advancement of the student.

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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz

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

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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz

She also writes about how there are easily avoided mistakes on the part of both parent and educator, how communication and simple conversation can make a world of difference. She mentions a student she had named Chris, who she worked hard to get into a science summer camp. Little did she know, Chris’ parents couldn’t afford the price of the camp, nor did they have the time to take him.

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Kyle Schwartz
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Kyle Schwartz

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

See Also: 15 Teachers Reveal The Most Jaw-Dropping Things A Student Has Ever Told Them

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