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I Wish My Teacher Knew...

I Wish My Teacher Knew...

Written by Dana Griffo
November 16, 2020

I remember being a junior in college and learning about this particular activity. I had a professor at UNLV, Mr. Hayden, who was just phenomenal. He gave us so many ideas for activities to use for relationship-building. I still use them to this day, because let’s be honest, no one likes to learn from someone they do not like. I did this activity at the beginning of the year, but I did it again as a “mental health check-in.” We could all use those once in awhile during this interesting time, right? I have this book, and I read it during the semester I was student teaching just two years ago. What I gained from it, is that every student may be battling something we have no clue about. Kyle Schwartz, author, wrote, “If my students are to meet every inch of their academic potential, I must understand the barriers to education that exist for them.” If I want them to be successful, academically and emotionally, I need to understand them as a whole person, not just the academic portion.

At the beginning of the year, the answers from my students were different. Some told me they were struggling with math. Some told me they love pizza. Some even told me that they are obsessed with the video game, Roblox. This time, the answers were different but all similar within each other. To name a few…

I wish my teacher knew that I’m having a hard time on the computer.

I wish my teacher knew that I really am excited for Christmas and that I really like being here at school.

I wish my teacher knew that I want to go back to school.

Clearly, there is a pattern. School, right now, is a distraction for students as they deal with the anxieties of this uncertain time. These kids MISS being physically at school. As someone who is getting frustrated with missing assignments, cameras being off during Google Meets, and lack of participation… it’s important for me to reflect and realize that I am having a hard time with distance education, and so are they. I have formed a different type of relationship with these students- their teacher, a support system, and an escape from their current reality.