This teacher shares heartbreaking notes from third graders

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.

Because children spend most of their waking hours in school, teachers and educators usually think that they have a good understanding of their students. This Denver teacher thought so, too.

But when Kyle Shwartz asked her third grade class to answer a simple question, she saw her students in a completely different light.

“For the activity, Schwartz’s third graders jot down a thought for their teacher, sharing something they’d like her to know about them,” said an ABC report.

I wish my teacher knew…

She didn’t expect the answers she received.

Heartbreaking Notes From Third

Photo credit: Kyle Shwartz

“I wish my teacher knew I want to go to college,” one answer said.

“I let students determine if they would like to answer anonymously,” Kyle said. “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.”

Heartbreaking Notes From Third

Photo credit: Kyle Shwartz

Moved by the heartfelt sentiments of her students, Kyle began sharing their answers on Twitter with the hashtag #iwishmyteacherknew hoping that other teachers to employ the same lessons with their students.

Kyle added: “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.’ 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.”

Heartbreaking Notes From Third

Photo credit: Kyle Shwartz

Notes and answers from different students all over the world began pouring in.

“I think it caught on so fast because teachers are highly collaborative and freely share and explore resources,” she says. “In the end, all teachers want to support their students, and #iwishmyteacherknew is a simple and powerful way to do that.”

Heartbreaking Notes From Third

Photo credit: Kyle Shwartz

“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.”

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