14 Kids Share the Heartbreaking Things They Wish Their Teachers Knew

Tanvier Peart | Aug 24, 2016 Big Kid
14 Kids Share the Heartbreaking Things They Wish Their Teachers Knew

Teacher inspires

For some, back-to-school season is a time of excitement and anticipation. But for many others, it's a time of anxiety and dread. Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher at Doull Elementary in Denver, Colorado, whose #IWishMyTeacherKnew project has sparked an international discussion about poverty, bullying, and everything else a child might be experiencing -- but is too afraid to say. And right now, as we're all starting new school years with our kids, it's the perfect time to take a moment and think about how we can all be part of the solution.

Each year, Kyle assigns this annual project to her students. Equipping them with a sticky note, Schwartz challenges each of her kids to jot down things "I wish my teacher knew." 

And as you might expect, the results range from funny to absolutely heartbreaking.

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Here's a look at some responses from children who answered Kyle's call that will leave you both speechless and asking how you can help.

Whether you're a teacher preparing for back-to-school season, or a parent looking for ways to get more involved in your child's life, do your best to encourage healthy discussion, even if the subject matter is hard to bring up.



Image via memarios/Instagram

  • Bullying Is Real


    Image via darshancampos/Instagram

    Children are bullied at an alarming rate. And, sometimes, it can happen right under your nose. One child wanted his or her teacher to know that bullying really hurts. "I wish my teacher knew that my whole class hates me and bullies me." Hopefully, things got better.

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  • Do Teachers Care?


    Image via healthy.chance/Instagram

    Sometimes, all someone needs to feel is that you care. "I wish that there would be more teachers like you so we could feel comfortable with them," admits one student. "Most teachers just come to school, teach, and leave. I know that's their job but it would be better for teacher to open up to us just like they would like us to do to them."

  • It's Easy to Feel Misunderstood


    Image via ashlynn.ramirez/Instagram

    Even high school students have things they wish their teacher knew. Ashlynn Ramirez is an AP teacher who gave the challenge to her students, and received an unexpected answer from one who has trouble expressing him- or herself. "I wish my teacher knew that since English is my second language I have difficulty expressing my thoughts and ideas in a way that satisfies my intent and am sometimes misunderstood," pens this anonymous senior.

  • Kids Are Worried About Their World


    Image via ddeaver927/Instagram

    You gotta love a kid who cares about the environment. This student is all about the eco-friendly life, and kicking pollution in the butt. "I wish my teacher knew that I really want to solve pollution," writes the kid. No more trash in the ocean!

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  • Teachers Really Can Make a Difference


    Image via briemarie2125/Instagram

    Aww, this #IWishMyTeacherKnew moment had to warm Brie's heart. One of her students was able to realize his potential, thanks to her guidance. "I wish my teacher knew that she is the best and made fourth [grade] the best for me and it was my best year of school so far and I wish it would never end and I don't really like school that much at all but this year you changed a lot so thank you for that," the grateful pupil wrote.

  • Being a Kid Is Hard


    Image via alimobo/Instagram

    For parents, it can sometimes be hard to remember that being a kid ain't always easy. One little child had no problem letting his or her teacher know the struggle is sometimes all too real. "I wish my teacher knew that it is hard to be a kid." Sorry to tell ya, it doesn't get much easier as an adult.

  • Our Words Hurt Our Kids


    Image via luluwolff/Instagram

    This is so incredibly sad. An anonymous child revealed to a teacher that his or her father says hurtful words. "I wish my teacher knew that at home my dad makes fun at me and calls me fat," wrote the child. As parents, we need to do better for our kids.

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  • Kids Have Many Different Kinds of Home Lives


    Image via thrilling3rdgradeadventures/Instagram

    "I wish my teacher knew that I'm about to be adopted by my aunt and uncle," wrote a student. While the circumstances surrounding this situation are unknown, this little one seems excited at the chance to live with her relatives -- and, if she's happy, we're happy.

  • Kids Are Struggling With Serious Issues


    Image via destructiveeee/Instagram

    As much as we try to love our kids and tell them how much they mean to us, sometimes, they might continue to struggle with their self-esteem. No matter how disheartening it is to think about a child inflicting pain on him- or herself, it's great to hear this student is on the road to recovery. "I wish my teacher knew that it's been 19 days since I haven't self-harmed," admits a student.

  • Being a Young Mother Is So Hard


    Image via mirandatellis/Instagram

    Motherhood is tough; but, being a young mother is tougher. A female student wrote to her teacher how hard life would get, now that she's expecting another child. "I wish my teacher knew that my life is getting real hard on me and it will not get any better because I'm having another little one," confessed the student. Man ...

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  • Kids Are Trying to Be Good People


    Image via megs417/Instagram

    Aww, bless this young one's heart. In a world full of horrifying news and unthinkable events, it's good to know there are still folks out there who want to make it a better place. One thing this young scholar wants his or her teacher to know is that he or she really tries hard "to be a good person." Keep up the good work!

  • Teachers Inspire the Next Generation to Dream


    Image via rustedsilver/Instagram

    This is beyond heartwarming. Not only did a special teacher help demystify math for one of his or her students, but also inspired the pupil to "dreme," go to Paris, and seek higher education. "I wish my teacher knew that I had got so much better in math because of the way she explains stuff and that I have a big 'DREME,'" notes the student.

  • Kids Get Abandoned


    Image via jtranphoto/Instagram

    While it's unfathomable how or why a parent would abandon his or her child, sadly, it happens. This student, however, is trying to make the best of a tough set of circumstances -- and wishes Dad well, both in life and with his new family. "I had a horrible life when I was a little girl because my dad left my mom when I was 2 years old and now he has a new family," writes the daughter. "I hope he's happy with his new family, but he missed out on a great family."

    More from CafeMom: Dads Have More to Do With Their Daughters' Confidence Than Moms

  • Teachers Can Be "Like a Mother"


    Image via ngiesenhagen/Shutterstock

    Prepare to get your tissues for this one. When Nicole Giesenhagen asked her class to participate in #IWishMyTeacherKnew, she never expected to receive a note from a student that read, "she's like a mother to me." The kind gesture not only touched Nicole's heart but also encouraged her to keep on teaching. "Seeing something like this though reminds me that we are so much more than teachers to some of these kids, and we have the power to really make a difference in some of their lives," Giesenhagen wrote on Instagram.

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