Facebook | Karen Wunderlich Loewe

Teacher Invites Students To Leave Their Emotional 'Baggage' At The Door And Their Responses Were Heartbreaking

Lex Gabrielle 10 Sep 2019

Being a teenager can be a stressful time in a kid's life. While parents sometimes think that kids exaggerate and overplay the amount of stress they have, more often than not, we truly don't know.

In a classroom, teachers sometimes overlook these issues.

Unsplash | Feliphe Schiarolli

When a kid acts out, we think it's because they just want to be annoying or obnoxious. Sometimes, we don't get down to the truth behind things.

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Recently, one teacher decided to do an activity with her students.

Facebook l Karen Wunderlich Loewe

In her 22nd year of teaching middle school, she decided to try something new.

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Karen Wunderlich Loewe posted the photo and story on Facebook.

Facebook l Karen Wunderlich Loewe

"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."

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Here's how it works...

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"I asked them to write down on a piece of paper what was bothering them, what was heavy on their heart, what was hurting them, etc. No names were to be on a paper. They wadded the paper up, and threw it across the room.

They picked up a piece of paper and took turns reading out loud what their classmate wrote. After a student read a paper, I asked who wrote that, and if they cared to share."

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She said that she was moved to tears by the results.

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"Things like suicide, parents in prison, drugs in their family, being left by their parents, death, cancer, losing pets (one said their gerbil died cause it was fat, we giggled) and on and on."

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Some kids got very emotional.

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"The kids who read the papers would cry because what they were reading was tough. The person who shared (if they chose to tell us it was them) would cry sometimes too. 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."

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Now, Karen keeps the bag hanging by her door as a reminder.

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"This bag hangs by my door to remind them that we all have baggage. 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."

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People online loved her idea and the effort she puts into teaching.

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One person said:

"Wow this is amazing! I hope you know the huge impact you had on me and many others back in middle school. I will forever and always be grateful for you and your amazing example of Christ. You truly have a gift for loving and touching the hearts of young people. Thank you for finding this calling in life of yours and embracing it. I'll never forget you. "

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One person said it's no wonder her students loved her.

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"No wonder those kids love you even after they leave you. You are touching so many young hearts and minds. Kudos, girl."

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Others said it's truly touching.

Facebook l Karen Wunderlich Loewe

" This is one of the most excellent things I've seen, Karen, but I'm not surprised that you thought of such a wonderful way to create a caring classroom environment!! Keep up the amazing work! I'm proud to have worked with you."

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Sometimes, all it takes it just a few minutes to talk and really understand kids.

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You never know what you can find out.

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