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Teachers play a very important role in shaping the young minds of our society. Many of my friends are teachers and soon-to-be teachers and they are constantly telling me stories about their students. Some that want to go home with them because their parents are never home. Some that are bullied. Some are quiet and some are social.

Each student is different and I think it’s important for teachers to get to know their students on all different levels. To a certain extent, I think teachers should know a little about the students’ home life as well.

Kyle Shwartz, a teacher in Denver passes out note cards to her third-grade students every year and asks them to finish the sentence “I wish my teacher knew…” This was first intended to reveal any mutual interests with her and her students, but some of these could bring anyone to tears.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 2.12.01 PMShe said that it sprang from everyday conversations between teachers: “What do our students need and how can we help them?” This shows what teachers can learn about their students when they take the time to simply ask. You never know how a child will reply. Maybe they are waiting for someone to reach out to, but don’t know ho to do it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 2.11.36 PMShe also allows the students to decide whether they want to put their name on the card or not and if they want the whole class to hear what they wrote or just her.

“They feel respected, they feel safe enough to share some of these more sensitive ones,” said Schwartz. “Kids can share what they feel comfortable with.”

It’s important that she gives them the power to make their own decision. Like she stated in the quote, I understand why they feel respected. They are sharing something extremely personal, and might be afraid to let others know.

She has been using the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew on Twitter and teachers everywhere are trying it in classrooms.

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