Teacher Karen Loewe of Collinsville, Okla., has been teaching for 22 years, but she said Aug. 22 was “quite possibly one of the most impactful days” she has ever had.
The language arts teacher wrote in a Facebook post that she decided to try out a new activity in her seventh- and eighth-grade classes.
“I tried a new activity called ‘The Baggage Activity.’ I asked the kids what it meant to have baggage and they mostly said it was hurtful stuff you carry around on your shoulders,” she wrote in the post.
The language arts teacher shared in a Facebook post that she decided to try out a new "Baggage Activity" in her seventh and eighth-grade classes to discuss issues that were heavy on her students’ minds. (Karen Loewe)
Loewe then asked her students to anonymously write down “what was bothering them, what was heavy on their heart, what was hurting them, etc.” on a piece of paper and then throw it across the room for another student to pick up and read. After a paper was read, the student who wrote it was then given the opportunity to come forward and discuss it if they wanted.
“I’m here to tell you, I have never been so moved to tears as what these kids opened up and about and shared with the class,” she wrote.
Loewe said that her students wrote about feelings of “suicide, parents in prison, drugs in their family, being left by their parents, death, cancer, losing pets,” among other topics and that some students cried while reading the papers because of the heavy topics.
“It was an emotionally draining day, but I firmly believe my kids will judge a little less, love a little more, and forgive a little faster,” she wrote.
“This bag hangs by my door to remind them that we all have baggage," she said. "We will leave it at the door. As they left I told them, they are not alone, they are loved, and we have each other’s back."
The teacher who says she is “honored” to have her class has received praise all across Facebook and other social media for the huge impact she has made.
“You are by far one of the teachers that had the biggest impact on my life just with seeing how much you love your job and helping people just made me want to follow my dreams even more,” one person wrote.
“I just love this so much, it brings me to tears! You are one amazing teacher and just beautiful inside and out!!” another wrote.
“This is another reason why we love you so much. God has given you a gift. A gift to reach and teach our young people,” a commented read.
Loewe’s post had received over 750K reactions on Facebook as of Thursday afternoon.