#IWishMyTeacherKnew: West High edition

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Lushia Anson

The #IWishMyTeacherKnew hashtag went viral over three weeks ago after an elementary-school teacher posted poignant and heartbreaking responses to this prompt that her students had written. Although the trend took off mainly with younger students, WSS wondered what West High students had to say when given this prompt. Below are some of the responses we received through an online form, as well as paper slips distributed in a variety of classes. The responses were compiled anonymously from students of a variety of backgrounds and grade levels who attend West High.

(Note: Though WSS tried to incorporate a variety of voices into this project, we cannot confirm that this is an accurate sample of the population, and the responses of students in this project may or may not actually be proportional or correlative to responses that the rest of the school may have given.)

 

I wish my teacher knew the projects I am already doing so I don’t have to do two large projects at the same time.

I wish my teacher knew how much their support means to me.

I wish my teacher knew that I love the opportunity of education that I have, but I hate homework because I don’t have time for it.

1

I wish my teacher knew that I have more than one class, so giving me 3 hours of homework for their class adds to the other many hours from other classes.

If I doze off slightly in class, it’s not because I don’t appreciate you teaching or the class, it’s because I don’t sleep well at night and usually come to school having only slept an hour or two.

I wish my teacher knew that I’m an immigrant and my entire life rides on this education.

I wish my teacher knew that some nights I’m up till 3 am having panic attacks about school.

2

I wish my teacher knew that I will ALWAYS put my mental health first, before anything school-related.

I wish my teacher knew that I don’t mean to purposefully sound stupid in class. I don’t mean to sound like I’m not listening. I just don’t get it.

I wish my teacher knew that sometimes I can’t come to school because my parents need me to go to appointments to translate for them because they don’t speak English.

I wish my teacher knew that even though I’m a good student most of the time, sometimes there’s more than your class on my mind.

3

I wish my teacher knew that waiting to the last moment to enter grades is torturous.

I wish my teacher knew that homework takes too long, and I only sleep for 4 hours each night.

I wish my teacher knew that sometimes I want to cry in class because nothing makes sense.

I wish my teacher knew that she really does help by working one-on-one with me.

4

I wish my teacher knew how important believing in their students [is] and giving them second chances after a bad day or week to improve themselves.

I wish my teacher knew that calling on me in class gives me anxiety.

I wish my teacher knew that she helps me out SO much during [class.]

I wish my teacher knew how much of an impact she has made on my school year/life. Thank you so much!

5

I wish my teacher knew that school isn’t always as hard as they make it seem.

I wish my teacher knew that what they say to students can go a long way, especially hurtful words.

I wish my teacher knew that my generalized anxiety disorder keeps me from learning. That’s why my grades can be low; I’m too shy and anxious to ask for help.

I wish my teacher knew that I never read anything she assigned or taken notes, but still get 100% on the tests- make us do stuff that matters!

6

I wish my teacher knew that even though I am a reserved person at school, I am very energetic outside with my friends and family.

I wish my teacher knew that because of them, the student population thinks that grades are more important than sleep.

I wish my teacher knew how much she affects my life, and how amazing she is.

I wish my teacher knew that not all teenagers are horrible people who … are completely ignorant of what’s going on around them.

7

I wish my teacher knew that in the society we live in, some kids are obsessive over getting a 4.0 GPA and they should ease off on us.

I wish my teacher knew that we have homework in other classes, jobs and social lives.

I wish my teacher knew that I go to school for seven hours a day. Giving me three hours of homework is not the answer.

I wish my teacher knew what other teachers assigned and the time [those assignments] take.

8

I wish my teacher knew that I’m taking some really hard classes that give me homework almost every day and I have a hard time getting all of it done.

I wish my teacher knew that there’s a difference between being funny and being mean, and that making fun of the “weird kid” in the class doesn’t make [them] more “cool” or more likable.

I wish my teacher knew that even though I’m easy to pick on and don’t mind most of the time, sometimes some people take it too far.

I wish my teacher knew that I am not really who they think I am.

Compiled by Lushia Anson
Photos by Lushia Anson