Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Dreams are powerful tools. Dreams inspire. Dreams can control one’s life. Dreams can make under achievers into achievers. They can provide the motivation needed to push kids over any obstacles life gives them. Where do dreams come from?
Some dream of world peace, some dream of equal treatment for all and some dream of great wealth and prosperity. Some dreams are simple and some are complex. Our Founding Fathers dreamed of a free country and Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream of equal rights. Regardless of their make-up, dreams truly are what make the world go around.
That being said how do we encourage dreams in our children? Dreams are not built into our curriculum. Is school even the place to grow dreams? Education in its current state has no room for dream building and there are no questions on the FCAT about them. Teachers do not have the time to deal with kids dreams. Right?
So if not schools, where can a kid go to get inspired? The root of all dreams should start at home. Parents, peers, siblings, and friends can all help plant the seeds but ultimately the child must possess the desire to pursue their dreams.
“You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'”
- - George Bernard Shaw
As teachers we are tasked with the unenviable task of modeling and shaping young minds into informed and educated citizens. These “citizens” must be capable of navigating the world ready to face the challenges it presents. Their success or failure represents our future; after all they will be the bearers of the flame, carrying the torch of our nation. Knowing that, wouldn’t our future look much brighter if these “molded citizens” go forth with a vision?
To mold this vision we must motivate our “moldy citizens” (or was that molded citizens) with motivation to succeed. Motivation comes in many forms, but has a better chance of sticking if it is attached to achievable goals. The goals should be short term and long term, but must be obtainable. Educators should encourage students to make a series of goals; some long term and some short term goals. These goals should create challenging, but reachable goals that can be grown into motivation. “Earning a college degree” or “getting certified to work on car engines” are examples of reachable long term goals. “Passing the spelling test” or “improving my handwriting” is examples of short term goals. Remember that the objective is to motivate towards the goal.
“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”
- Gail Devers
Once the student has achieved some of their goals, they will concurrently build self-esteem. For many students the feeling of increased self-esteem will be a new one. Many students don’t know what it is like to feel proud or accomplish something positive. Once they achieve this feeling, watch out, there will be no stopping them. Once you have built up their self-esteem, it is time to build their dreams. Do not allow your students to dream simple dreams. Have them shoot for the stars. After all dreams are what makes the world go around.
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”
- Walt Disney