I Wish Every Teacher Would Read…

When Kyle Schwartz asked his elementary students to complete the sentence “I wish my teacher knew…”, he did something extraordinary and his students rewarded him with their honesty. 

Kyle Schwartz doesn’t pretend to be the perfect teacher – he freely admits that he’s made his fair share of mistakes – but he does have some very valid, very relevant suggestions for teachers today. Suggestions which will:

  1. Help you to increase learning inside your classroom.
  2. Help you to foster a sense of community inside your classroom.
  3. Help you to provide a more inclusive and supportive environment inside your classroom.

At the core of Kyle’s approach lies a simple statement, made by child psychologist James Comer, that “no significant learning occurs without a significant relationship” and the belief that every child matters. 

He outlines and tackles real issues that face many of our students – food hunger and bereavements, for example – and his practical suggestions cover everything from how to welcome new children into your classroom, to holding ‘family-school conferences’ instead of a traditional ‘parents night’.

Understanding the realities of our students’ lives may not always be comfortable, but facing these issues head on is the best way to understand and help our students.

If you’re a teacher, you will benefit from reading this book and you will enjoy reading it! (I predict several eureka moments and lots of head nodding…) It doesn’t really matter which country you live in, or what age range you teach there, as issues our students face are the same. 

All of my teacher friends will be getting copies of this – from me! – for Christmas.

I Wish My Teacher Knew will be published July 12th by Da Capo Lifelong Books.

8 thoughts on “I Wish Every Teacher Would Read…

  1. Oh goodness, this is absolutely wonderful idea — but my heart breaks for some of the answers he must have got (though it would have been opened up his eyes to students on an entirely different level)

    • Yep, lots of kicks in the gut here, but once you know the problems you can find solutions! So the heartache is totally worth it – and so is the book!

  2. I think this sounds like a wonderful book, and the action it was based off (asking kids to finish the sentence of “I wish my teacher knew”) is something that could do so much good in the classroom.

    When I was in school (both primary and high), I only had a handful of teachers that I ever felt really knew me, or cared about me in any way. I think if this book helps cultivate a caring way of teaching then that is so important. I wish more teachers knew how to form a relationship with their students that encourages learning and growth and acceptance. It would be incredible.

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