Writerly Life

Confessions of a Dreamer

Do teachers dream? I mean, really dream? Big. Of course we dream of days when all of our students bring a pencil to every class, everyone reads their independent reading book, and journals with enthusiasm.

But I’m not talking about those kinds of dreams; I’m talking about the kind you can’t complain about. The kind of dreams where every student in your school gets an iPad because, well, they’re cool. And a Gallery Invite is an everyday part of life, because your students, wouldn’t have it any other way. All the kids at your school come from supportive families that never fall apart or go through junk. The kind of dreams that just could never happen. Or could they?

I have friends that aren’t teachers (shocking I know). Many of them are dreamers; I think it may be contagious. I spend my nights listening to them dream big, starting new businesses & creating new mindsets— that’s just the beginning. Some people have started building wells in Africa, some have started small businesses that work to empower those with fewer resources, and that’s just the beginning. They’re writing books, making movies, creating.

And me, the teacher? I dream of pencils never needing to be sharpened while I’m talking? Well, okay maybe I do, but this dreaming big thing is starting to work its way into my heart. Because recently, when an idea pops into my head, instead of brushing it off, I’m speaking it aloud and saying, “Why not?”

And so this year I’ve had a Gallery Walk in my classroom, a document camera donated by people outside of my school, and plans to . . . plans to, keep dreaming!

Dreaming is scary business, and I’m not talking little dreams, like being able to take good notes on every writing conference I have (although at some point that dream goal, feels more impossible than others). When do we lose that instinct within us to let out the wild dreams, and then actually believe in our hearts that we can achieve it?

I have some 8th graders that think they might be professional football players and politicians when they grow up. But take me to a first grade classroom, those kids, they dream it and believe it— their desire to be quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles is thwarted only by the realization that they would make a great President, and maybe it would be hard to do both at the same time? Or would it?

So if you’ve got the heart of a first grader, speak it out; what are you dreaming? Who do you want to be when you grow up? Are you a teacher, or are you a dreamer? Can you hold tight to both? I’m trying.

2 replies on “Confessions of a Dreamer”

I think that the key to getting what you want in life is imagining that you are already whatever it is that you want to be, and then acting the part! Dreaming is like breathing – when it stops there’s no life left. To me that’s the most important thing you could possibly convey to your students. Keep dreaming!

Comments are closed.