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What Kids Wished Their Teachers Knew

The Heartbreaking Way This Teacher Discovered 5 Students' Biggest Secrets

When Elle Deal decided to try a new exercise with her fifth grade students, the Friday activity turned into something incredibly heartbreaking.

The elementary school teacher asked her kids to write a short blurb, titled, "I wish my teacher would know . . . " and their answers left a major impact on her. Elle shared a few of the heartbreaking (and anonymous) statements on Facebook as a reminder to everyone to "leave this life a little better than how we found it."

"Kid 1: I wish my teacher would know, my dad is in jail and I haven't seen him in years.
Kid 2: I wish my teacher would know, I don't always eat dinner because my mom works and I don't know how to work the stove.
Kid 3: I wish my teacher would know, my sister sleeps in the same bed as me and sometimes she wets the bed and that's why I smell funny.
Kid 4: I wish my teacher would know that I don't always have sneakers for gym class because my brothers and I share one pair.
Kid 5: I wish my teacher would know I like coming to school because it's quiet here, not like my house with all the yelling."

This simple activity reinforced Elle's desire to spend her life hopefully making a difference for others. "We spend so much time talking and judging what we think we know . . . we need to ask more questions and spend more time listening," she wrote. "We also need to shift our mindset and see things from other people's perspective, give more than we get, and live to serve."

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