Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I wish my teacher knew...

A few days ago CNN released an article about Kyle Schwartz, a third grade teacher, who asked her students to complete the sentence “I wish my teacher knew ____.”  I was inspired by this teacher and eager to try the same activity in my classroom.  During a mini-lesson, my first graders and I talked about the prompt, and I let them know that anything they said would be between them and me. 

I have to say that if you are a teacher, regardless of what age, you should really take five minutes to complete this activity with your students.  I was reminded that my babies are just six with statements such as “I wish Ms. Fiema knew that I like my PS3.”  I was hurt by some with responses like “I wish Ms. Fiema knew that my brother is mean to me.  He is always punching me.” and “I wish Ms. Fiema knew that sometimes I need someone to talk to.”  Of course I felt special by proclamations of love and admiration toward myself.  But with all of that being said, the one that stands out and I will hold dear is the post-it from one of my sweet little ones that said “I wish Ms. Fiema knew that I believe in myself and I am brave.”

This quick and simple writing assignment opened my eyes, and I’m going to have opportunities to have some honest conversations with my kids.  I always want my kids to know that I am someone that they can speak to without hesitation, and I hope that more teachers and parents take the chance to do the same. 


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