DENVER, April 17 (UPI) -- A Denver teacher's assignment asking third grade students to write down things "I wish my teacher knew" went viral when she shared some of the responses.
Kyle Shwartz, who has been teaching at Doull Elementary in Denver for three years, said she designed the assignment as a trust-building exercise for her class.
"As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students' lives and how to best support them. I just felt like there was something I didn't know about my students," Shwartz told ABC News.
Shwartz said students were told to write a sentence starting with, "I wish my teacher knew," and they were given the option of turning the note cards in anonymously.
"I let students determine if they would like to answer anonymously," she said. "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."
The assignment went viral when Shwartz started sharing some of the answers on Twitter with the hashtag "#IwishMyTeacherKnew."
"I wish my teacher knew how much I miss my dad because he got departed to Mexico when I was 3-years-old and I haven't seen him in six years," read one answer shared by Shwartz.
"I wish my teacher knew sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom is not around a lot," another student wrote.
"I wish my teacher knew I don't have pencils at home to do my homework," a student shared.
Not all of the answers shared by Shwartz were heartbreaking -- "I wish my teacher knew she gives too much extra homework with math!" one perturbed pupil wrote.
Shwartz said she was delighted when teachers at other schools around the world emulated her assignment and shared the answers they received.
"I think it caught on so fast because teachers are highly collaborative and freely share and explore resources," she said.