A simple one-sentence writing assignment set by third grade teacher Kyle Schwartz revealed the heartbreaking realities faced by her young students. Kyle, a Denver, Colorado Public Schools “Distinguished Teacher”, shares what she has learned from her students and offers educators ideas and strategies towards supporting their students academically and emotionally.
Elementary School Teacher
The driving force in Kyle Schwartz’ career has been to ensure that all children receive a quality education. Kyle is currently a third grade teacher at Doull Elementary School in Denver, Colorado where approximately 90% of the students live below or very near the poverty line and about half are learning English at school.
She has previously worked with educational organizations such as City Year, the Denver Teacher Residency, American Achieves and
TeachStrong. Designated a “Distinguished Teacher” by Denver Public Schools, Kyle has transformed a simple yet powerful classroom writing lesson into a national dialogue about the troubling realities American students face on a daily basis. Her book “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for our Kids” offers teachers guidance towards providing the educational opportunities, loving support and guidance that all students need and deserve.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
My teacher asked this and it was our first few weeks in a new school ( first year here for everyone in my grade) and if I knew how much homework we got from them I would have told them I wish my teacher new we have other classes!!!!!!
I wish my teachers know why I always wear long sleeves
I wish my teachers know that I hate myself
I wish my teachers know my smile is fake
I wish my teachers know I hate it when they ask me ‘how are you?’ Because I have to lie
I have to lie
And say ‘Good, how are you?’ with a bright smile
One teacher in particular does know about the first thing, and I feel awful whenever I see her because I know I have to lie, and smile, and say those dreadful words; Good, how are you?
I wish my teachers knew I don't always have the time to finish homework because I'm going to see my dad who I haven't seen in weeks
I wish my teachers knew my family isn't supportive
I wish my teachers knew I have depression
I wish my teachers knew I'm not the perfect student
I wish my teacher knew that I hate when i'm told 'it's never too early to think about the future', because I have a breakdown whenever I think about what I want to do with my life.
I wish my teacher knew that whenever i'm told off and it sounds even slightly menacing that it takes every bit of strength in my body not to cry, and I spend days, weeks even, thinking about that one forgettable experience.
I wish my teacher knew that some nights I can't or don't sleep, because of stress.
I wish my teacher knew that I cry over homework almost every night, and that it's one of the most important things in my life, and when I 'forget it at home' or 'lose it', I literally lost it; my mind.
I wish my teacher knew that every time I speak to them in class I think that I came off as rude or a snob, and afterwards continue to think that you see me as a snobbish horrible person.
I wish my teacher knew that I am not as bland as I appear, I am not a robot, and I have a personality.
I wish my teacher knew that I struggle with confidence, and if I don't hate myself it's a great day.
I wish my teacher knew that I try my hardest to be tough, but am weak, and can barely hold myself together.
I wish my teacher knew I overthink everything I do, or they do.
I wish my teacher knew that I am human. Not a robot programmed to work, emotionless.
I wish my teacher knew that I cry every night to sleep because I have depression
I wish my teacher knew I stop trying not because I don't care but because I hurt myself more
I wish my teacher knew that when we do body activities I feel uncomfortable ashamed
I wish my teacher knew that I'm loosing hope day by day
I wish my teacher knew how much I get everyday
I wish my teacher knew I hide behind a mask everyday so know one can know the truth
But guess what, they would never know
I wish my teachers knew one of my closest friends used me.
I wish my teachers knew im not distracted by my phone or games, but they HELP me pay attention.
I wish my teachers knew im not in a good mental state.
I wish my teachers knew im trying my hardest.
I wish my teachers knew how socially anxious i am.
I wish my teachers knew i go by Cheston and im really uncomfortable with my birth name.
I wish my teachers knew i have insomnia.
I wish my teachers knew i sacrifice my physical, emotional, and mental health for my friends'.
I wish my teachers knew who i really am...
I wish my teachers knew how to not tell my parents the things i ask them not to...
I wish my teacher knew that I get to school at 7:00 am and get home at 4:00 pm and that the 5-8 hours of homework they assigned is killing me everyday.
I wish my teacher knew that sometimes when I wake up, I can't think of anything positive because of their class.
I wish my teacher knew that I don't talk to my family and so no I can't do that assignment on family heritage.
i wish my teachers knew how to support kids instead of bringing them down. i wish my teachers knew how to relate the subjects to real life and helping us work them out. i wish my teachers saw this video.
I wish my teacher knew that I am a nervous wreck most of the time. I wish my teacher knew that I can am terrified by very thought of having to stand by myself and be _that kid_ . I wish my teacher would understand that I can be dramatic. I wish my teacher knew that I get depressed and anxious very easily. I wish my teacher knew that I don't know everything. I wish my teacher knew that I feel isolated from others.
I don't fit a paradigm.
I'm unatheletic. I'm nervous. I'm scared of people.
Do you think I care about your grades and tests? It won't matter anyways.
I wish my teacher knew that my parents aren't coming to get me
I wish my teacher knew I don't have a home or a bed
I wish my teacher knew I don't have any friends
I wish my teacher knew no one sits with me at lunch
I wish my teacher knew how hard it is for me to speak
I wish my teacher knew my family doesn't have enough money to buy supplies for projects
I wish my teacher knew I don’t get sleep
I wish my teacher new I was struggling with depression and anxiety
I wish my teacher knew that I need extra help
I wish my teacher viewed me as a person, a human being, not just a student
Things I wished my teachers LAST YEAR knew:
I wish they knew when I put myself down, I didn't want attention. I really meant it.
I wish my teachers knew my dad abandoned me.
I wish my teachers knew that kids used to severely bully me, and I still feel the effects of it.
I wish my teachers knew a kid has been bullying me since 4th grade.
I wish my teachers knew I have generalized anxiety Disorder.
I wish my teachers knew I saw my grandparents fight a lot.
I wish my teachers knew I starve myself sometimes.
I wish my teachers knew that I self harm.
I wish my teachers knew that when they stigmatized me and neglected me needs, it really hurt.
WHAT I WISH MY TEACHERS THIS YEAR KNEW
I wish my teachers this year knew how much better I am from 8th grade. I wish my teachers in 9th grade know how much better they are than my 8th grade teachers. I wish my 9th grade teachers knew how much I appreciate and love each of them.
i wish my teacher knew i used to go home to get beat so maybe sometimes i dont do my hw over the stress and fear of it ever happening again
i wish my teacher knew i had depression
i wish my teacher knew i cry my self tonight
i wish my teacher knew i have insomnia
i wish my teacher knew yea im a little bit slower at getting math that i need a little bit of extra prodding not harsh screaming
i wish my teacher knew that everytime she makes fun of me in the middle of class the more and more i wish i could end it...
I wish my teachers knew I wasn’t just “bouncy” and “distracted” but that I have ADHD and sometimes can’t control the fast that I misplace papers and forget things
I wish my teachers knew how mean the other kids are to me and that I can’t take it sometimes
I wish my teachers knew I get yelled at for trying to talk to people on my buss
I wish my teacher knew I hate myself at times because that’s what Iv been told
Some teachers shouldn't be teachers because all they are there for is their money.
They get upset when kids aren't in class because that contributes to them not getting their money.
I don't want to learn math that isn't general and wont help me in life.
We have been complaining to adults this whole time but they undermine us because, after all! We are only kids and we don't know real stuff.
It's all BS.
Ya Dun Goofed: I know! There was a young boy that came to a Cub Scout Activity very distracted. The Problem: He felt that something happened at school that his Mother should know about, but was concerned about telling her. I went with him, and he told his mother about getting into a fight at school. Of Course, Since I had been working with Him and His Mother of 6 months about his bullying, It was not any kind of News to me.
He did receive a week in his room, but that started the next morning. At the end of Pack Meeting, I told him the secret to avoiding bullying (The Question: Who is the one having fun?). He saw the reason for a number of Activity Rules and I displayed a second rule (Openness keeps games clean.), when his Mother complained about a Activity Method from a couple years ago. I told his mother how I came up with that method, because she (She even admitted) had not heard it is origin.
However, I was not surprised that the Church Women s Organization did not hear about it, because I did not discuss that with the Pastor and the Complaining Mother (It was not relevant topic.), but the Pastor did approve of the Method. Partly, because the All of the Boys insisted on playing, and partly because the boys (being cheated out of wins) wanted to continue as well.
I wish my teacher knew what I'm going through so much I can't even type it All cuz It l be like 10 million paragraphs or at least that's what it feels like. I'm struggling through so much right now and I never get help because I've tried so many times to get help I give up on that I feel so much yet I feel nothing
I wish my teacher knew what it feels like to go there all of this! I wish she knew I hate her for not caring .
I wish my teacher knew that i have anxiety and every time they tell me to do something like a presentation i freeze up and decide to just take a zero because i feel the pain of everyone staring at me and im frozen in fear not being able to speak. Hearing all the murmurs of what theyd say about me
I wish my teacher knew I'm Tired.
I wish my teacher knew that my emotions are dying.
I wish my teacher knew that I can't look at a worksheet without the work turning into an amalgamation of ink.
I wish my teacher knew that my spark to learn is almost dead.
I wish that someone would begin to care because we all know that they won't.
I wish my teachers knew that I have no idea what I want to do with my life and that I constantly fear that I’ll never know and choose something I don’t like solely because nothing really interests me. I wish they knew that I constantly feel like a let-down when I get the grades that I get, but at the same time I can’t bring myself to fix it because I just don’t deem it worthy of my time. I wish they knew that my parents basically define success with a college degree and think that if I don’t become valedictorian, then I won’t be able to afford college. I wish they knew how tired I am and how I can’t get all my work done because I don’t understand it, and I don’t have time. I wish they knew I find it hard to trust others because I’ve been hurt in the past. I wish they knew how exhausting it is for me to continue to stay optimistic about everything.
I wish my teacher knew how much I’m craving for true friends and lovable family....
I wish my teacher knew that I’m going through depression and faking a smile
I wish my teacher knew that studies suddenly seems like the first thing that comes to my life..and destroyed it.....
I wish my teacher knew my grandma died and I treated her like shit.....
I wish teachers understand us.....
I wish my teachers knew that my anxiety and depression is the reason i dont do my homework sometimes. I wish they would stop jumping to the conclusion that im just irresponsible. Because im not just a student, i have a life. I wish my teacher knew theres a reason i dont raise my hand to answer a question. I wish my teacher knew how bad my insomnia is and that my anxiety holds me back from doing everything.
I wish my teachers knew how important they are for me. In being there for me, in talking with me during breaks, in telling me about their weekends.
I wish my teachers knew that I wouldn't still live without them, because without them no one would have done anything against my depression.
I wish they knew what they did for me simply by being there.
I wish my teacher knew, what I went through out of school.
I wish they knew how I can’t sleep at night because of these terrifying nightmares that I have to go through.
I wish they knew that my parents divorced and that I haven’t seen my dad in 2 years and I’m only 14..
I wish that at least someone knew that I don’t even like my dad because of what he has done to me and my family.
I wish someone knew that I was alone and always in my thoughts.
I wish someone knew, that I cried most nights, thinking about how worthless I am... but we all know that no one really cares. I don’t even have the guts to face someone and tell them face to face of what I went through.
I wish my teachers knew that I struggle in class because I can’t concentrate with all these hurtful memories of my past.
I wish my teachers knew that when I raise my hand in class, I need help, but they just look at me and go back to doing what they were doing. Do they not realize that I need help? That kind of makes me feel like I’m not even worth it.
I wish my teacher knew that my mom is suffering slowly, taking care of 2 kids with a small house, all on her own.
I have some of these thoughts in my head, every.. single.. day.
I wish that I can just be like all the girls in my school, who have nice clothes, we are pretty, who has a lot of friends.
I just wish people knew that I want to be good enough, but that’s never going to happen, because I. Am. Never. Good enough.
I just hate how people use me.. they only text, hangout, call me when they need something.
I also wish people were happy that they have both of their parents, and that their parents are happy.
I just wish that I wasn’t so jealous of everyone.
Thank you for reading little parts of my life.. some of these, I just kind of wanted let out, because I know that people in my school and people who know me don’t watch these kinds of videos.. so it’s kind of nice talking strangers to strangers.. but I don’t know why this popped in my recommendations now.
I wish my teachers knew how I hate dress codes, how boys should be taught how to be proper boys. "Don't wear this because it distracts the boys." Why can't the boys be taught to be respectful? Instead of going after the girls?
I wish my teachers knew that I often feel strained from everything in my life. I grew up poor and am still bullied because of it. I often become self-conscience of my body and wear long sleeves and large clothes to hide myself. I've starved myself and threw up the other day in class because of this. Sometimes, I can't get my emotions out any better than to cry and hope that either nobody hears me or that my friends are with me. I often forget how to smile and my friends ask if I'm okay. I don't know how to answer anymore. I ask myself what's wrong with me, but can't even asnwer that without tearing up. I don't even know who to trust anymore. My parents skipped college to get married and have me. Now that I might go to college for a huge profession in five years, all they can do is grope in the darkness and guess with my future. We see what's wrong with the world, but are unable to do anything about it, and might be too late once we can do something. I wish my teachers knew that I'm barely hanging on...
I wish my teachers knew that not everybody wants to learn the same things.
I wish my teachers knew that I have a life outside of school and I want more time for all that and having fun with my friends.
I wish my teachers knew that I don't like working in groups. (Because I am usually the last person to get a group in class who ends up working with a group of three or by myself. One person ends up doing all of the work most of the time.)
I wish my teachers knew that all students are different and that each and every student learns differently.
Last but not least, I wish my teachers knew that if a student doesn't raise their hand, they don't want to be called on. This means that they feel uncomfortable speaking out loud.
I wish my teacher knew how much I appreciate her teaching me. Because even if she doesn’t know about my fears, my anxiety, my pain, she is still willing to teach a bunch of groaning students without complaining about how she has a headache or had to wake up at six or her dog just died. She’s willing to teach me because she cares, and even if she makes some human mistakes sometimes and her empathy only goes so far, the fact that she dedicates not only school days but nights and weekends and summers and holidays to make sure I get educated—and on that tiny paycheck, too—shows how much she cares.
I wish my teachers knew my parents still treat me like I'm 5 i wish my teachers knew im scared to tell my mom i have a boyfriend i wish my teachers knew that all i care about is art and i think makeup is art i wish my teachers knew that my parents want me to go to college but I'll never have a way to pay for it i wish my teachers knew i hate doing anything that has to do with history i wish my teachers knew that i hate dead lines not because i cant do the work in time but because they give me so much anxiety that i end up crying instead of working i wish my parents knew what i wish my teachers knew
i wish another teacher knew that she's one of the only adults aside from my family that im close with and feel comfortable talking to
i wish another teacher knew that im struggling in math
i wish all of them knew about my anxiety
I wish my teachers knew...
That I am teased because I play the Viola
That my dad didn't just leave, his brain was damaged in a car crash, and he attempted to kidnap me
That I "had" a dad and I haven't seen him in eight years, so stop asking us about how awesome our dads are
That my mom had cancer, so stop talking about it
That the lizards made up of small beads that I am constantly stroking reminds me of my own baby gecko and calms me down
That I am called a freak for my passion for Herpetology
That I am called a reptile nerd because I wan't to help others I can relate to, such as disrespected lizards, geckos, snakes, crocodiles and more
That when I stare down at my notebook, I am still focused, just scared
That I'm not hiding from the question, I'm hiding from the reality of our schools
I wish my theater teacher was trustworthy.
I wish my theater teacher knew my feelings.
I wish I could know how my teachers REALLY feel about me.
I wish my teacher knew my wrists weren't sore and hurting from just drawing all the time.
I wish my teacher could be a friend, and equal, rather than a superior.
I wish my teachers knew that I'm not just skipping school, because skipping school is meant to be for having an actually fun day.
But no. I'll just be in my bed all day, wishing I wasn't here at all. Hoping that someone might realise that I'm not as "okay" as I pretend to be, because life is not *just* about learning how to solve the math problem, it's about learning how to solve the problem in our heads.
I wish my teacher knew that when I was younger I got bullied it also sometimes happens now and they don't how much it hurts and when we talk about things that real late with most of the time I just want to break down in tears and nothing else.
I wish my teacher knew that my depression completely consumes me and I am physically unable to get out of bed for days at a time
That I’m unable to do my homework
That I think I’m unable to do anything because whatever I do will never be good enough for anyone
I wish my teachers new
That all the kids around me bullied me, hurt me, spread rumors about me. That because of it I have anxiety, depression, PTSD, (post trumatic stress disorder). That my family does not have enough money to have a proper home. I wish they knew so they could understand and maybe notice what's happening instead of ignoring it!
I wish my teacher knew that I have anxiety, acid reflex
I wish my teacher knew my sister is mentally handy capped
I wish my teacher knew that I often have to go to doctor's offices after class because of my sister
I wish my teacher knew that 12-18 problems plus what ever else was ensigned to us it to much and we just want o be kids
I wish my teachers knew that I dont sleep enough or often
I wish my teachers knew that I wear a mask of eternal happiness and joy to mask the pain and mental torture my mind puts me thru,
+Victoria Cave Thank you so much. I've tried to talk to some of my 'friends' and vind support that way but the masks are always in the way. Most of the people i know are friends with the mask and don't seem reliable.
I comity understand, +Wolfie chan. I didnt have that support system till last year, and Im just NOW truly telling him everything. So I understand what you're going through. I also know that it is hard to rid yourself of masks, or how after you do it leaves to feel vulnerable and scared, but it makes life so much easier after talking, or like what I do, as type it out and send it to them. Besides, we are going through similar things, if you need to talk to someone, who doesnt know you as the mask you wear just let me know, Id be happy to hear you out and talk.
+Victoria Cave i'm glad you havs someone to talk to ^ ^. But sadly unlike you, i can't talk to anyone, even if there is someone i trust who i know who will never judge me for my mental issues, i am physically unable to speak to them because of the mask that i keep nailed to me comstantly.
+Wolfie chan, yeah, same. I and all happy and go lucky at school and in reality it hurts, but it helps to have someone to talk to. I personally have one teacher who I can and he doesn't judge me or think of me differently because of it either.
I wish my teachers knew about my autistic brother and that i'm hiding behind a tsunami of lies and false positivity that is constantly weoghing me down and dragging away from reality tjat is slowly killing me similiar to you.
I wish my teach knew that I have a a life outside of school like her and I asked her a question and then when she responded she said just do what ever I need family time not knowing that I wasn’t ganna be there due ya family
I wish my teacher knew I don’t learn the same as everyone else - nobody learns the same
I wish my teacher knew my best friend killed herself 4 days ago and I still haven’t “gotten over it and got to work” like the want me to
I wish my teacher knew I can’t always meet their expectations all the time
I wish my teacher knew that sometimes I will have had a hard day and might breakdown when something gets too stressful
I wish my teacher knew that I’m not just trying to “skip class” when I leave early so as I don’t have a panic attack in the halls (even though I have a pass)
I wish my teacher knew that I can’t see and hear them judging me and my peers
I wish my teachers knew that my mind likes to make me doubt the sincerity and truth of people's words, which always works.
I wish my teachers knew how my parents like to drag me into their verbal fights every time, and how every time they else try to seek me for advice and comfort.
I wish my teacher knew that I'm worried about college because I may not have the funds for it what so ever.
I wish my teacher knew that I can't get a job for college because of reasons.
I wish my teachers knew that I considered illegal ways of obtaining money because that was my only option if I am going to college.
I wish my teachers knew that I have far more doubts and anxiety about my future than hood thoughts about my future.
I wish my teacher knew that I even on my brightest days, even in days where I felt no bad, my brain still likes to make me feel anxious and very sad about my own life and it's future.
I wish the teachers knew that I hate a part of my brain.
I wish my teachers knew I doubt myself and ability, and that me trying to seek good comments is the only way for me not to doubt myself and my abilities.
I wish my teachers knew that I doubted myself on many occasions, and that I doubt my future.
Child marriages are common:
On a recent day, eight community elders sat in a [refugee] camp, some chewing khat, the narcotic leaf favored by most Yemeni men. Seven have married off their girls this year.
Even Salim, the elder who worked at the charity, is preparing to marry off his two daughters, ages 13 and 14. "I want to feel secure of their futures, if only for economic reasons," he said.
Mohammad Ali al-Ansi married off his two girls, ages 13 and 14, in April. "My heart is bleeding inside, but I was forced to do this," he said. "I have no job. Its difficult for me to feed my 10 children." He received $1,600 in dowry for each of his girls, he said. But after paying for their weddings and meeting other debts, the money has nearly run out. "If things get worse, theres no doubt Ill marry off my 12-year-old daughter," Ansi said.
More on Ansis 14-year-old daughter Fatma, married to 21-year-old Zaid:
Fatma spent her day cooking and washing clothes for her in-laws. When asked the name of her husbands family, Fatma didnt know it. She remembers her father telling her and her sister, Amal, that the family needed money. She remembers that Amal was in tears because her new husband was taking her to another region. The two sisters have not seen each other since their weddings.
"I am too young to be married," Fatma said. "I want to study. I want to learn how to write. I have sacrificed for my family," she continued, her voice dropping to a whisper.
Minutes later, her husband arrived at the tent, and Fatma went silent. He said Fatma was "at a good age to marry." When asked if she could attend school, he shook his head no. "Shes a little too old for school," he said.
Female sexual freedom among the Tuareg : Flora Drury has written up the sex habits of the Saharas Muslim Tuareg people based on the work by Henrietta Butler. Some excerpts:
Their men became known as the blue men of the Sahara because the dye from their distinctive indigo scarves rub off onto their faces giving them a mysterious air. The Tuareg evoke images of a long forgotten and romantic age.