COLORADO — Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher at Doull Elementary in Denver.
Though she has been teaching for three years and says her students are a pleasure to be around, she admits that many of them come from underprivileged homes.
“Ninety-two percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch,” Schwartz told ABC News. “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.”
So to create a bond with her students, Schwartz asked each of them to write something they would like her to know about them.
The lesson plan was called “I Wish My Teacher Knew.”
Though she allowed her students to write their answers anonymously, Schwartz says, “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.”
— A.T.O.M. (@atomsoffice) April 16, 2015
— ABC News (@ABC) April 16, 2015
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Deeply touched, and quite possibly heartbroken by the honesty of her students, Schwartz took to Twitter with the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew, encouraging other teachers to connect with their students in a similar way.
— Sarah Gasior (@segasior) April 13, 2015
While some of the notes from older students were a bit more positive, Schwartz says she also hopes her lesson can help her connect less fortunate students and their families with the proper resources they need to live comfortably, according to YahooNews.