One third grade teacher decided to build trust between her and her students through a lesson plan called “I Wish My Teacher Knew.”Kyle Schwartz has been a teacher for three years. She loves all of her students, but said many of them come from underprivileged homes, according to ABC News.
“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.”
In Schwartz’s activity, she had her third graders anonymously write down one thought or secret they wanted to share with their teacher.
Schwartz was surprised at how open and honest her students were with her. ABC News reported she decided to share some of the notes on Twitter with a new hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew to make other teachers aware of the new activity.
“Building community in my classroom is a major goal of this lesson,” Schwartz told ABC News. “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.”