'I wish my teacher knew': Teacher shares students' heartbreaking notes

#Iwishmyteacherknew
#Iwishmyteacherknew Photo: @KyleSchwartz/Twitter

In an effort to get to know her students a little better, a Colorado third grade teacher created a lesson plan called "I wish my teacher knew" and the results are heartbreaking.

Speaking to ABC News Kyle Schwartz said she was trying to build trust between her and the students.

"Ninety-two percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch," says Schwartz.

Kyle Schwartz started the #Iwishmyteacherknew
Kyle Schwartz started the #Iwishmyteacherknew Photo: @kyleschwartz/Twitter

"As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students' lives and how to best support them. I just felt like there was something I didn't know about my students."

She asked all students to write down something they would like to share with her, they could attach their name or share anonymously.

"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."

Posting some of the notes on Twitter with the #iwishmyteacherknew, Schwartz is encouraging other teachers to conduct the same lesson plan.

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"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."

Since posting, teachers from all over the world have shared what their own students wished their teacher knew.

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

"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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