"I Wish My Teacher Knew" Exercise

Ever wonder what your students are really thinking? Want to know if you can better meet your students' needs? The "I Wish My Teacher Knew" exercise is an easy way to understand what is really on your students' minds. Teachers who have used the exercise in their classroom have found out about their students' aspirations and struggles, as well as tips on their own teaching style.

For more information, see this article:

  1. Pass out markers and sticky notes or pieces of paper to your students. Make sure each student has one of each.
  2. Ask them to write down their answer to the phrase, "I Wish My Teacher Knew", and message there are no wrong answers. Also tell them you will be the only one who reads their answer.
  3. Ask them to put their names on their work and hand it in.
  4. When you look over the answers, ask yourself, "what have you learned about each student?"
  • markers or pens
  • sticky notes or paper

Kyle Schwartz, third grade teacher, Doull Elementary School in Denver, CO.