I’m sure I’ve shared this previously, but Mother was a lifelong educator. She taught elementary school when we were little and then attended night school for three more degrees before eventually retiring as deputy superintendent of the public school system. I grew up spending dinners listening to debriefs on her days at school, afternoons waiting on her to wrap up her day in her classroom, and long days making folder games and cutting rolls and rolls of lamination in the back of her summer workshops.
When I came across I Wish My Teacher Knew last fall, I ordered copies for myself, my bestie (elementary school teacher), and Whit’s 5th grade teacher. It was such a great read that I was inspired to not just give them the books, but also a little lock box and cards they could use in their classrooms.
One day, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz asked her students to fill-in-the-blank in this sentence: “I wish my teacher knew _____.” The results astounded her. Some answers were humorous, others were heartbreaking-all were profoundly moving and enlightening. The results opened her eyes to the need for educators to understand the unique realities their students face in order to create an open, safe and supportive place in the classroom. When Schwartz shared her experience online, #IWishMyTeacherKnew became an immediate worldwide viral phenomenon. Schwartz’s book tells the story of #IWishMyTeacherKnew, including many students’ emotional and insightful responses, and ultimately provides an invaluable guide for teachers, parents, and communities.
Along with the book, I gave them each a stack of index cards and this lock box for the classroom.
I personalized the header card for them, but also made a generic printable for you! You can download the free “i wish my teacher knew” card at this link:
It seems like kids are split about 50/50 right now as far as in person and virtual school. I think this idea could be implemented without the box and cards virtually, just by sending the kids a google form. But, based on what I’m seeing from all 15 of my kid’s teachers, the last thing they need is one more thing on the list of to-dos! It’s an odd year. It may be best to tuck this whole idea away for later, but I wanted to share before it completely fell off my radar.
Hope y’all are doing well!
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4 thoughts on “I Wish My Teacher Knew”
Thank you for sharing this. I’ll be teaching virtually this year, but definitely will add this to my list of things for the first week of school.
I know you must be the BEST teacher!! Wishing you and your son a wonderful year!
Friend, you are the smartest! What a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing! xo
Awwww, you’re pretty smart yourself! <3