Recently, I read an article about simply getting to know your students. I've always considered my ability to build relationships with my students one of my strengths as a teacher. The article I read revolves around #iwishmyteacherknew. If you haven't heard of it, here is one of many versions of the article.
My daughter's 2nd grade class did this activity, and I asked her if she'd be willing to tell me what she wrote. She said she wrote two things:
#1 I wish my teacher knew that my mom is home sick today. I happened to have a sinus infection and was home for the day.
#2 I wish my teacher knew that I sometimes I still confuse my b and my d and that's why I write in capitals sometimes. How interesting...I talked to her teacher about it that weekend (she's a friend of mine), and she said it was good information to get because several of her students will write in capitals, when they know they shouldn't.
I decided to try it out with my students...I would like to say that their answers shocked me, but they didn't. It did become clear that my class has a lot of father figure issues, amongst other things.
I wish my teacher knew...
"that my friends don't respect me for who I am."
"that my dad left me when I was 2 and I struggle because I miss him & I wish he could be with me."
"that my dad is in the Coast Guard and had to move to Washington."
"that I haven't seen my dad in 2 years, and he hasn't come to any daddy/daughter dances because he chose to live in DC with his wife instead of here with my & my sisters."
"that I barely see my dad & I wish he could get a new, better job so I could see him more often."
"that I never finish my lunch."
"that my mom sometimes argues with me about my homework because she won't help me with it."
"that I haven't seen my brother in 5 months."
"that I don't take my coat off because I'm always cold."
"that I'm afraid to go to Middle School."
"that I'm afraid I'm not going to pass 5th grade."
"that sometimes I feel left out by my own friends because I tried to talk to them but they ignored me, which made me sad."
and my most insightful post was...
"I wish my teacher knew that I goof off in class because I don't get a lot of attention at home."
If you haven't done this with your class I'd highly recommend it.
For Part 2 of this post please go here.