It All Stared With A Prompt…
Kyle Schwartz, a teacher at Denver’s Doull Elementary, wanted a fun way to learn more about her students. She gave them the prompt, ” I wish my teacher knew…” to see what her students would tell her, and she gave them the option for letters be anonymous.
“As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students’ lives and how to best support them,” she told ABC News. “I just felt like there was something I didn’t know about my students.”
She found that not only did the students willingly include their names, but they enjoyed sharing with the class.
“Ninety-two percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch,” Schwartz tells ABC News.
When she took to twitter with #iwishmyteacherknew, photos of notes from other schools came pouring in from around the world.
The students’ notes gave her an inside look at what the children’s lives were like outside of the classroom.
Schwartz told ABC News her goal was “[b]uilding community in my classroom.”
“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,'” she said.
“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.”
Schwartz has setup a donors page to help her students. She hopes her lesson can help her connect students and their families with the proper resources they need to live comfortably.