Kyle Schwartz, Colorado Teacher, Reveals Motive Behind ‘I Wish My Teacher Knew’ Lesson

Kyle Schwartz, a Denver, Colorado teacher, recently revealed the motive behind her “I Wish My Teacher Knew” lesson that has gone viral.

Kyle is a third-grade teacher at Denver’s Doull Elementary School. In an attempt to get to know her students better, Schwartz created a lesson plan called “I Wish My Teacher Knew.” She allowed her students, the majority stricken by poverty, to share their responses without their names, but surprisingly most included their names and were eager to share their answers with their classmates.

Shocked and excited about her students’ responses, she began sharing them on Twitter. Soon, the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew was trending.

“The whole thing started as a way for me to get to know my students better and understand where they’re coming from,” Schwartz said, according to the Denver Post. “It was really eye-opening. What they shared was very honest, very vulnerable, and it helped me understand who my students are as people.”

Some of the comments were heartbreaking with one student saying, “I wish my teacher knew I don’t have pencals at home to do my homework.” Another said, “I wish my teacher knew sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom is not around a lot.”

Still others were encouraging and gave Kyle hope for the students’ futures. Many described what they wanted to do when they grow up and what college they want to attend.

“In Denver particularly, there’s not a whole lot of awareness of the inequities we have in our city,” Schwartz said. “In Denver, you’re never more than 10 minutes away from a school that’s facing these problems caused by childhood poverty. As a city, I’d love to see us rally together and support all of our students.”

“I’ve had a huge response from people who want to take action and really support our students,” Schwartz said. “People are asking, ‘What can I do to help?'” Kyle is urging supporters to start a book harvest where people can donate books to kids and the schools in need.

“The book harvest is just as simple as getting the books from your home that you’re not using and into kids’ hands,” she explained.

[Photo via Twitter/Kyle Schwartz]