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Opening Keynote Speaker

Kyle Schwartz

Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher at Doull Elementary in Denver, Colorado. Doull Elementary has a strong community and the school faces challenges. At Doull, about 90% of students live below or very near to the poverty line and about half are learning English at school.

Ensuring that all children receive a quality education has been the driving force in Kyle Schwartz's career. She has worked with education focused organizations such as City Year, the Denver Teacher Residency, America Achieves, and TeachStrong.

Due to the high academic growth and the strong instructional practice observed in her classroom, Kyle Schwartz is designated as a “Distinguished Teacher” by Denver Public Schools. She has lead professional development at national and local conferences and has spoken to organizations across the country on many issues including building strong classroom communities.

Recently, a simple yet powerful lesson created in Kyle's classroom received international attention. She asked her students to finish the sentence “I wish my teacher knew _.” Her students' candid responses inspired the #IWishMyTeacherKnew movement and were covered by every major media outlet. This sparked a conversation about the realities American students face and how schools can support all students. To continue this dialogue, Kyle has written a book entitled “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for our Kids” published by DaCapo Press in 2016.

Above all else, Kyle dedicates herself to ensuring that every child receives the excellent education they deserve.

Speech Topics

Topics Kyle Schwartz is passionate about:

  • increasing student voice in our school communities 
  • increasing equity in education 
  • building strong classroom communities 
  • increasing rigor in the classroom through differentiated instruction 
  • supporting English language learners 
  • meeting diverse student needs in classrooms.

1.25 LU

What Students Wish We Knew

For years I have been asking the same beautifully simple question of her students: What do you wish your teacher knew? When I finally shared this community building activity through her new Twitter account, the response astounded her. In this session Kyle will share a detailed teacher’s guide to the #IWishMyTeacherKnew lesson as well explore issues that may arise through students’ responses. Participants will explore multiple issues that affect students and come away with “Teacher Tools,” actionable steps they can take to address students needs and build relationships that lead to learning.

Building Community in the Classroom
The beginning of every school year, teachers are faced with a monumental task - to turn a list of names on a class roster into a community of learners. In this talk, we look at how educators can show our students to become active and generous members of their communities, both inside and outside their classroom. We discuss strategies teachers and use teach students the value of community, we show them how to live and grow among, others, how to be kind and compassionate, how to be a good friend, how to help others feel appreciated, and how to contribute to our global community.

Responsive Teaching that Meets Students’ Needs
I provide a look at issues like students, such as poverty and student mobility that affect millions of students nationwide, alongside problems that affect individual children and families, such as coping with trauma and grief. In addition to statistics and research, I provide real stories from students, teachers, and family members that shed light on how we can all help students tackle these challenges and grow as individuals.