(Shutterstock: Monkey Business Images)

"I don't have pencils at home to do my homework": Elementary students share heartbreaking notes with their teacher

The class exercise ended up sparking a much larger dialogue about privilege

Colin Gorenstein
April 17, 2015 7:49PM (UTC)

Kyle Schwartz, a third-grade teacher at Doull Elementary School in Denver, wanted to get to know the lives of her students better. That's when she came up with the idea to launch a new lesson plan "I Wish My Teacher Knew." Schwartz asked her students to jot down a few words about themselves to submit anonymously -- but many felt empowered by the exercise to share with the entire class.

[embedtweet id= 581655310344921088]


After posting many of these notes to her Twitter account, the exercise intended for internal classroom use -- to strengthen the bond between teacher and student -- wound up sparking a much larger dialogue about privilege.

"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."

She continued: "I care deeply about each and every one of my students and I don’t want any of them to have to suffer the consequences of living in poverty, which is my main motivation for teaching.”

Here are a few more of Schwartz's most heartbreaking submissions from students:

[embedtweet id=585176610564743168]
[embedtweet id=588111236493135873]
[embedtweet id=585175332413505536]
[embedtweet id=585219983526895616]

Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email cgorenstein@salon.com.

MORE FROM Colin Gorenstein

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Education Life Privilege Social Media Twitter


Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •