Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher in Colorado.
A few years ago, she started asking her students to complete the following sentence as part of an insightful assignment:
“I wish my teacher knew …"
The responses Schwartz received were far more powerful than she could have ever imagined, even though she already knew that 90 percent of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch.
“That means they are living below or very close to the federal poverty line,” Schwartz told Us Weekly.
“I wanted to know more about their lives and how I could better [support] them. Instead of making assumptions about them, I decided to let them tell me what I needed to know.”
And what follows are the children's responses. They are both eye-opening and heart-breaking...
The notes Schwartz received largely centered on what sort of support system, of lackthereof, the kids had at home.
I Wish My Teacher Knew...
This student hasn't seen his father in six years.
No Mother, No Signature
This is why one student often doesn't have his or her homework signed.
I Want to Go to College
This is a great sentiment. But the implication is that the student had no one else to tell.
A Hard-Working Father
Props to this father. But sadness for his children.
Can you imagine not having a home to go back to after school?
It's hard not to read these messages without tears in your eyes.
Again, what's sad here is that no one else knew the truth about this student.
Learning is Hard
But no one seems to understand.
A Tough Life at Home
This was a running theme throughout the heartbreaking messages.