About a year ago I remember seeing a social media post #IWishMyTeacherKnew and immediately sharing it with my staff. The student’s message (I wish my teacher knew I had no pencils at home to do my homework.) touched my heart and I wanted others to read her response. This week I was honored to be asked to read and review a new book based in this Tweet. Kyle Schwartz, the teacher behind the tweet, has written a book to share the journey and simple question that led her to be a social media sensation. One simple question not only changed her life, but the lives of so many students across the world.
The book is a must read for anyone who works with children. For me, Kyle spoke to my belief that relationships are the most important ingredient to success in education. Relationships are so very undervalued by so many in charge of shaping students. I’ve often heard, “I’m not here to love them, I’m here to teach them.”, or, “I’m not their mother, I’m their teacher.” How very sad for those students that their teacher is missing one of the most important ways to reach her students. I knew Kyle gets it when I read this quote in the opening of her book, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”, James Comer. She goes on to nail it by saying, “Therefore, as a teacher who is primarily responsible for learning, I am in the business of relationship building.” Thank you for saying that Kyle! I totally agree and wish more teachers, administrators and educators shared this belief.
The book is framed around student responses to the question asked of students, What do you wish your teacher knew? Fill in a response to, I wish my teacher knew… Kyle shares responses she received from her students that will pull at the heartstrings of educators. It is my hope that it pulls hard enough that social emotional learning can finally take center stage in classrooms across the country. Each chapter shares Kyle’s systems for working with her students to create an environment in which they can thrive. Sample topics are, Supporting Students Through Trauma and Classrooms Where Student Engagement Thrives.
In an early chapter, Kyle shares her personal school journey and how she hated school. This quote resonated with me, as I’m sure it will with others, “Perhaps if I had experienced any additional challenges or discrimination, I might have continued feeling irritated and isolated. I might have forever felt a lingering resentment toward the “good kids “. I might have thought of school as nothing more than a place where I disappointed and hurt people. My education might have been sacrificed in order to find a place where I felt valued.” Her answer to the question she said would have been, “I wish my teacher knew my bad behavior and bravado were a result of feeling like I didn’t belong. I wish they knew I desperately wanted to please them, even though I appeared apathetic.” Wow. Reading her reflection, I connected to so many students who have come through my classroom and school building.
My students know I love them. I tell them, “I love you” often. It most definitely is my job and privilege to love them. My personal philosophy is that relationships are the magic many are seeking in endless programs and initiatives. This book was a joy for me to read and I can’t wait to do a book study of it with my staff. Together we will make a change, one child at a time.
Thank you to DeCapo Lifelong Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. Thank you Kyle Schwartz for sharing your journey and for your dedication to cultivating student learning through forming relationships.
The book is available now for preorder. It will be released in July and on my ReadingLady Discussion Facebook page, we will definitely be doing a book discussion of this. I can’t wait!
Join the discussion on my Facebook page at :