I Wish My Teacher Knew
This week I implemented a morning reflection activity called “I Wish My Teacher Knew”.
I simply put the sentence stem on the board
I Wish My Teacher Knew…
and allowed students to use 15 minutes of their morning work time to just stop, think, and write.
I implemented this same activity 2 years ago with my 5th graders when I was teaching in LISD. This activity was a “filler” after STAAR. I was shocked about the things I did not know about my students lives back then and am glad I was able to implement it sooner in the year this year.
At first I thought some of the responses did not take much effort…such as “I Wish My Teacher Knew I was tired and wanting to go back to bed”….but then, as I thought more about it…I began to wonder: Were they tired because of playing video games all night? Or were they tired because they had to watch their siblings while their parents worked? Were they tired because they had ill grandparents who needed to be cared for? Did they have to wait at home all alone in the night and stayed up through fear? For this particular student…it happened to be the video games….but even still, I then began to wonder about the lack of supervision or interaction this child has at home, in order to stay up until 4 in the morning playing video games.
Another response said “I Wish My Teacher Knew that I can’t stop thinking about my parents getting a divorce.” This response struck hard on my heart as my parents also got a divorce when I was a 5th grader. I approached this student at recess to ask them more about their situation and was disheartened to hear the details. If I could hug my students right now I would squeeze them tight and never let them go.
More responses described fear of COVID and academics. All of which I wish they did not have to feel fear of.
This year has taken a lot out of all of us. It has taken a lot away from us.
This activity allowed me to feel connected with my students in a way I have not been able to connect with them yet this year.