A Denver third-grade teacher joined Martha MacCallum to explain why she gave her students the "I Wish My Teacher Knew" assignment that became a social media phenomenon. 

Kyle Schwartz, who teaches at Doull Elementary School, asked her students to finish that statement and share something that they would like her to know about them. 

The responses, which she posted on Twitter, ranged from eye-opening... 

to heartbreaking... 

to funny... 

Schwartz, referring to the note about pencils, said it's "not shocking" because 70 percent of Denver public school students live in poverty. 

Overall, she said the answers helped her to understand the students better.

She said the students knew these notes would be shared on social media. They were given the option to hand them in anonymously or to read it aloud in front of their classmates.

Schwartz said most of the students volunteered to share their response. 

"When they shared with the class, with their community, the struggles that they were facing, the community stepped up. Those students really rallied around each other and supported each other," said Schwartz.

For example, one girl in the class started sitting with a classmate who wrote that she had no one to play with at school. 

Schwartz said she was inspired by other teachers who gave out this assignment and by the answers they had received. 

"If you let kids have a voice, if you let them decide what they want to tell you, they're gonna be honest with you," she said, adding that the assignment helped her to build a sense of community in her classroom.

Watch the interview above.


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