As a first-year teacher, I worried about how much I didn’t know about my students. I explained to them that I wanted to get to know them better. I wrote, “I wish my teacher knew . . .” on the board and asked them to complete the sentence.
Each student’s response was unique. They responded with honesty, humor, and vulnerability. Sometimes their notes talked about their favorite sport. Sometimes students complained about conflict with siblings or friends. They wrote about their home life and the people who meant most to them. Sometimes they articulated their hopes for the future and sometimes they explained obstacles they were facing. After completing this lesson, I was amazed at how well it helped me connect with my students. Their notes became a tangible reminder for me to truly listen to the voices of students in my classroom.
Imagine a world in which every child’s potential is valued; where every child receives the excellent education they deserve. What would our government look like? What would our neighborhoods look like? What would our schools look like? What would our classrooms look like? What would school be like if we asked students to tell us what we adults don’t know?
Source: Excerpt from I wish my teacher knew by Kyle Schwartz