Teachers are always on the lookout for creative new ways to get to know their students a little bit better. So, when Elle Deal decided to try out a personal new exercise with her fifth-grade students, she wasn’t sure what to expect.
The elementary school teacher instructed her kids to write a short blurb entitled
“I wish my teacher would know…” and the answers she received really stuck with her, especially these heartbreaking five in particular–
“Kid 1: I wish my teacher would know, my dad is in jail and I haven’t seen him in years.
Kid 2: I wish my teacher would know, I don’t always eat dinner because my mom works and I don’t know how to work the stove.
Kid 3: I wish my teacher would know, my sister sleeps in the same bed as me and sometimes she wets the bed and that’s why I smell funny.
Kid 4: I wish my teacher would know that I don’t always have sneakers for gym class because my brothers and I share one pair.
Kid 5: I wish my teacher would know I like coming to school because it’s quiet here, not like my house with all the yelling.”
This simple yet intimate activity opened Elle’s eyes to the sad truth that we never really know the battle that someone is struggling with behind closed doors.
“We spend so much time talking and judging what we think we know… we need to ask more questions and spend more time listening,” Elle wrote. “We also need to shift our mindset and see things from other people’s perspective. Give more than we get. Live to serve and to help make a difference in others lives.”
The teacher ended her Facebook post with an inspiring message, “Let’s leave this life a little better than we found it.” Well, Elle, we couldn’t agree more!