There is a huge income disparity between students in elementary schools in America. Many students at Doull Elementary School (DES) in Denver, Colorado are on the tail end of that spectrum. DES has an unusually high number of struggling families with 92% of kids on a subsidized lunch program. Kyle Schwartz, a third-grade teacher at DES, wanted to do something about it.
Kyle spent a lot of time wondering what her kids went without at home. Instead of asking the question directly, she came up with a creative way to pose it. One day in class, Kyle asked her kids a question, “what do you wish your teacher knew?” and hung a bulletin board for them to pin their answers when no one was looking. What Kyle found at day’s end broke her heart. She expected some heart-wrenching answers, but nothing could prepare her for the wave of problems overwhelming her students.
Kyle’s story inspired other teachers around the nation to ask their students the same question. The New York Times gathered some of the responses those teachers received:
These notes certainly broadened these teachers’ perspective. What can you do to broaden your perspective today?
Share these children’s powerful notes.
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