I wish my teacher knew: Students reveal heart-breaking struggles

A US teacher has sparked a social media whirlwind after posting revealing notes from her young students online.

A note written by one of the students.

Kyle Schwartz asked her eight and nine-year-old students at Denver's Doull Elementary school to write down something they wished she knew about them.

Schwartz said she carried out the writing exercise each year, in part because she wanted to underline the issue of poverty in US inner cities and also as a way for her to learn about her pupils.

The 26-year-old teacher shared some of the notes, which included "I don't have pencils at home to do my homework", on her Twitter account under the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew.

#iwishmyteacherknew sometimes my reading log isn't signed because my mom is not around a lot

— Kyle Schwartz (@kylemschwartz) April 6, 2015


Schwartz told Reuters that a note from a girl who said she missed her father was revealing and received a lot of sympathy online.

#iwishmyteacherknew how much I miss my dad since he got deported

— Kyle Schwartz (@kylemschwartz) April 6, 2015

Schwartz said the girl "comes to school each day with a smile on her face", and says she would not have known about her distress if not for the message.

The teacher allowed the students to write the messages anonymously to her, but found most wanted to share their names.

Another message Schwartz had labelled "heart-breaking" was from a student who struggled to make friends at school. 

#iwishmyteacherknew I don't have a friend to play with me. Honest answers from kids #edchat

— Kyle Schwartz (@kylemschwartz) April 6, 2015

She told Reuters she was happy when other pupils rallied to support the child who wrote the message.

"The next day at recess, all the girls huddled around her and played tag," Ms Schwartz said.

Dozens reacted on social media saying they were inspired by the messages.

@kylemschwartz Thank you for putting your heart into teaching and truly caring for the children. It means so much! God bless you!

— Rose (@roseemmaxoxo) April 17, 2015


@kylemschwartz#IWishMyTeacherKnew what a great way to connect with your students, good heart!! Really good idea

— Claudia P (@CpinzonPinzon) April 16, 2015

Similar pictures of messages from other schools worldwide also began pouring in.

#IWishMyTeacherKnew that I worry because mom is getting sick... :(

— Dawn King (@dawnkingCCPS) April 14, 2015

— Lisa curtin (@LisaCurtin7) April 10, 2015


@kylemschwartz#iwishmyteacherknew that keeps me going!

— Sarah Gasior (@segasior) April 13, 2015