Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher in Denver that started a classroom project and turned it into a movement.
Teaching at a school where over 90 percent of her students are on free or reduced lunches, Schwartz wanted to understand the reality her kids brought to the classroom each day. So she created an activity called "I Wish My Teacher Knew," where students were encouraged to anonymously share thoughts they wish Schwartz knew about them. Her kids were much more forthcoming than she ever expected.
"I let students determine if they would like to answer anonymously," she told ABC. "I have found that most students are not only willing to include their name, but also enjoy sharing with the class. Even when what my students are sharing is sensitive in nature, most students want their classmates to know."
While it may not seem like it on the surface, high school and college football coaches share a common link with elementary school teachers. They're often the first line of defense, the person a kid can turn to when things go wrong. And when things aren't right with mom and dad, they're possibly the only resource kids have.
(via ABC, Kyle Schwartz)
Schwartz shared her project on Twitter and it's grown like wildfire from there. "I think it caught on so fast because teachers are highly collaborative and freely share and explore resources," Schwartz said. "In the end, all teachers want to support their students, and #iwishmyteacherknew is a simple and powerful way to do that.
While Schwartz's students are different than the high school juniors and college sophomores you may coach, their struggles are not. They may not be as forthcoming to share their difficult home life or their social struggles as to sign their name to a notecard, but the struggle is in there. How can you help your players and your students through it?