Dreams… we all have them. They are unique, different, unknown, scary, the list goes on and on. Those dreams are uniquely individual and personal. They are constantly evolving based on personal experiences and future outlooks. Just recently I embarked on my own journey. I have a desire to learn more about creative writing and decided to take a leap of faith and try something new. The local fine arts center offers several different classes which tapped into my desire to reach my dream.
Fast forward to my first class. I walk in the room. It is a large room that is a multi-functional space used for a shop class of some sort. Large tools are everywhere. But in the center is a large boardroom table suited for meetings of different nature to take place there. The light-blonde, wooden table is almost out of place, echoing the initial feeling I have. My stomach is in knots. I have ideas. Are they good enough? Will my classmates “get it?” Where do I even start? I am jumping off the diving board into the deep end of the pool and I am pumping with adrenaline. How did I ever get to this point? As I look around the room, I see I am surrounded by men and women, young and old, all with the same goal – to be creative, to have an outlet, to make something. Like-minded people, all gathering together to grow writing skills and build camaraderie, offering advice, guidance, and thoughtful criticism. 100% exciting!
Here is the question: What are the dreams of our students and how can we tap into those dreams early on?
I am sure everyone can reflect back on teachers who have inspired us, gave us that “push” needed to travel down roads unknown towards our own dreams. The single teacher or group of educators who said, “You can do it. You will do it.” Those teachers stopped for a hot second and got to know us. They made a point to find out what made us tick and genuinely take a personal interest in what we did, how we felt, what we experienced inside and outside of school.
We teach work ethic. We teach drive. We teach the basic building blocks needed so that ALL dreams can be achieved if our students just dream. How can we ask our students to take a chance on themselves if we are not willing to dive into something new too? We can and will encourage our students to dream because if we play our cards right as educators, we can model what taking a risk looks like – we are still making our dreams come true.
So what will you do to find out your students’ dreams? How can you encourage your students to dream and believe in themselves?
Please feel free to share your ideas and comments below!
Mena T. Hill
Educator, Wife, Mother, Colorado Native