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Teacher Asked Students “What They Wish She Knew” — Their Responses Left Her Floored.

When Elle Deal found an idea on Pinterest, she knew it would be perfect for her fifth-grade classroom. Always looking for new lesson plans for her kids, this one was definitely worth a go.

“I started the lesson off by talking about how everybody has stress in their lives and it’s a matter of how they handle it… I was just thinking, what is something in your life that is stressful to you, what is something that you’re afraid of… or something that no one knows and it’s like a weight on you,” she explained in a Facebook video.

Elle says she always tries to build her students up to make sure they feel valued and that her room is a safe space for them to share anything they’d like.


Each week, teachers at her school get 30 minutes to do what they want with their students. Seeing one particular week back in February as an opportunity, Elle asked a simple question: What did her students wish she knew?

The responses astounded her.


Elle’s post went viral, with more than 60,000 shares and nearly 4,000 comments.

“We spend so much time talking and judging what we think we know… we need to ask more questions and spend more time listening. We also need to shift our mindset and see things from other people’s perspective. Give more than we get. Live to serve and to help make a difference in others lives.”

She said that while these responses were especially touching in how honest they were, other students wrote down funny things, too.


Elle said that she made her post because she wanted to share her thoughts on teaching: “We can either choose to teach them what’s going to be on the test and that’s it, or we can teach them how to be good, responsible, honest citizens who want to make a difference in the world. That’s the route I’m going.”

She says the responses were “eye-opening” and that her kids clearly carried a lot with them, only being 10 or 11 years old.


It’s wonderful to see such a devoted teacher who puts “children first.” Elle went on to say that she, and other teachers, don’t educate to make money, she does it because she loves her kids. “They truly are our future,” she says.

Watch Elle’s reasoning behind her class meeting below and share if you agree with her vision!

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