Things I wish my teachers at church knew….



Recently there has been a lot of attention given on social media about a teacher, Kyle Schwartz, who didn’t know a lot about the students in her class. So she set out to find out about them by asking the question, “I wish my teacher knew…..”. She asked them to write their responses.

The results of that one simple question astounded her. One thing Kyle said on a TV interview was, “I realized my students had a voice and I don’t hear what they want me to know.”

How many of our kids in our churches have a voice?

They need for us to hear what they want us to know. Many times we are so busy preparing, getting kids into the classes, talking to parents, volunteers, etc. that we might forget that we should give the kids a voice too.

This is never truer than with the child of divorce.

Talk to any DC4K facilitator and they will tell you these kids are talkers. The kids in my DC4K group have shared from their little hearts things that are bothering them. Things they feel they can’t tell their stressed out single parent.

One little boy said, “I have all these feelings bottled up inside of me and I don’t know how to get them out. For two years, 2013 and all of 2014, no one has listened to me.”

This child went to two different churches with his two divorced parents. And yet it was the DC4K class where he chose to open up and talk.

Why did he talk to us

  • He talked to us because he felt safe
  • He knew we wouldn’t discuss his confidences with his struggling and warring parents
  • We asked him thought provoking questions
  • We gave him a place to talk when he wasn’t in a large group
  • He talked at the snack table and at the activity book table where there was a caring adult and few kids
  • We assured him we cared and loved him
  • When he talked to one adult we would share with each other later after the kids had left what was said. We wanted to all be on the same page with this child
  • Each of us prayed every week for this struggling and angry child

Give the kids at your church an opportunity

Ask some kids at your church to write out an answer to “I wish my church leader knew….” This could be a Sunday School teacher, small group leader, Awana teacher, etc.

What do the children at your church wish you knew about them?

  • I’m hungry all the time since my dad moved out
  • My parents fight a lot. I think they are going to get a divorce
  • I’m divorced because my parents got a divorce
  • I miss my sister. She lives with my mom and I live with my dad
  • I wish my teachers would call me by my last name, not my mom’s new husband’s name
  • I don’t feel like I belong at this church cause I don’t get to come every Sunday

Another question you could consider asking

“What I wish my teachers knew I learned……..” or “What I learned at ………..” This is really an eye opening experience to hear their take on what has been taught.

Here are some things the kids in some of my DC4K groups told me when they were asked what they had learned in our thirteen-week class.

  • I learned divorce is an adult problem
  • I didn’t know there were other kids who felt like me. I’m not alone
  • I learned how to tell my parents how I was feeling. I wanted to tell them before but they never asked me.
  • I learned it’s okay to be sad
  • I learned how not to be mad at different people in my life
  • I learned to be kind. I never really knew how to be kind before
  • I learned it’s not okay to hurt people when I’m mad
  • I learned divorce is frustrating. Frustrating for the parents and the kids
  • I learned how to breathe from my belly when I’m nervous
  • I learned Jesus loves me. Did you know Easter is about when Jesus died on the cross?
  • I don’t have to get a divorce when I grow up. I thought I would have to but now I understand I don’t

Take a cue from elementary teacher Kyle Schwartz and learn more about the children in your church.

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