Since the #Iwishmyteacherknew story hit big, I have had a wide range of emotions about it. Touched that a teacher cared so much. Heartbroken for kids with such difficult lives. Angry that it made it seem that it is rare for a teacher to care and know his/her students so well.
But I want to take all of those emotions and channel them into something else. Something that could be big and powerful. But I need YOUR help. As teachers, especially those who serve students from a low-income background, we know our students. I cannot pretend to know every detail of my students life. In my opinion, that is not my place. Sometimes I have an idea of exactly what their home life may be and other times I can only take a shot into a very big, overwhelming darkness. I have never lived in poverty. I have never even had divorced parents.
It does not take living in a child’s exact situation to be able to teach them and to do your best to understand. Students’ stories these days are heartbreaking. I am not so naive to say by trying to understand their stories I can feel exactly what my students go through. I can’t. But I try to do my best every day.
-It does not take a student telling me they’ve lived through a trauma to see it in their every behavior.
-It does not take a kid telling me they don’t have food at home to know that they must first be fed before any learning can take place.
-It does not take a student telling me they are home alone all the time to know that they come to school first to be loved, the learning is a secondary less immediate need.
WE TEACHERS KNOW OUR STUDENTS. I teach in a high-poverty school. I’ve been professionally developed all about poverty. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, MY STUDENTS IN POVERTY WHO MAY BE HUNGRY, HOMELESS, HAVE NEVER HELD A BOOK PRIOR TO KINDERGARTEN ARE HELD TO THE EXACT SAME STANDARD AS A STUDENT WHO HAS NEVER KNOWN A WANT FOR ANYTHING.
Here’s my proposal. We work off of #Iwishmyteacherknew and it becomes #I wish my lawmaker knew.
#IWishMyLawermakerKnew My students come to school first to be loved, only then can they learn.
#IWishMyLawermakerKnew Success can not be measured in bubbles.
#IWishMyLawermakerKnew Parents and teachers are a team and must BOTH be held accountable for a child’s education.
#IWishMyLawermakerKnew Just because my student didn’t pass your test doesn’t mean they haven’t made a year’s growth. It doesn’t mean they don’t also deserve to be celebrated.
Can you think of more? I bet you can.
Do you know twitter? I hope so. I don’t and I need your help.
If nothing else, comment here with what you wish your lawmaker knew.