Schwartz, is a third grade teacher, started a lesson plan called “I Wish My Teacher Knew”, where she asks her students to write something which they want their teacher to knew about them.
She has started this exercise in order to build trust between her and her students, many of whom come from unprivileged homes.
She said 95 percent of her students qualify for free and reduced lunch, and as a new teacher she is struggling to understand the reality of lives of her students, and to understand how she can support them, she felt that there is something which she didn’t knew about her students.
She was surprised by the responses which she got from her students, some of them were heart breaking but all of them were honest.
She said she has also given the students an opportunity to submit their responses anonymously.
She said most of the students have given responses not including their name.
On March 27, Shwartz first shared her student response on twitter along with the hashtag # IWishMyTeacherKnew.
She said that it was very easy for her to understand as teachers are collaborative and can freely share and explore resources.
All teachers want to support their students and #iwishmyteacherknew has become important and powerful way for the teachers to support their students.
The main aim of the lesson was to build community and as one student said that she had no one to play with her at recess, the rest of the class replied we got your back.
The next day during recess, Shwartz has noticed that she had a group of girls playing with her,
So it is not only the teacher who can support a student but students can also support each other.
She said her main motivation of her teaching was to care about her students and she doesn’t want anyone to suffer the consequences of living in poverty.