Edgar Allan Poe once wrote "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night".
IBM had a programme for certain executives which included freedom from deadlines, committees and usual limits of corporate approval over a five year span. These "dreamers" were said to be responsible for some of the greatest innovations of our time.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" Eleanor Roosevelt.
As teachers, we must realize that dreaming can be very productive and by allowing students time to dream, we may see a variety of positive results.
Studies reveal that schools may be boring, frustrating and unexciting for a highly intelligent student, who tends to be a dreamer.
Seeing the teacher's disapproval, this student may pull away from their world of productive dreams and stimulating big ideas. "Keep true to the dreams of thy youth" Friedrich Von Schiller.
Now, keep in mind, I am not talking about the student(s) who are day dreaming about what happened the day before or are in "La- la land". You, as an educator, will know the difference.
At home or at school, many young people feel trapped by the hopes, desires, and expectations of adults (parents, teachers) who are obligated to decide what's "good" for them.
Hence, they tune us out and become inattentive. We, as teachers, can change that, if we want to.
We can create many activities that initiate and promote productive dreaming. For instance, in a class discussion, ask questions such as, " If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?" or "Have you ever wanted to be someone else?"
Allow them to express their dreams and encourage them to share their dreams in groups with their peers (beware of silliness or wasting time).
Be part of the discussion as well - sharing dreams that have come true or you want to happen. I, myself, shared with my students how I met my true Prince Charming (my husband)and when I really retire, I am going to buy a red convertible that only I will drive. It's amazing the connection that you will make with your kids!
Have your students read biographies of famous dreamers which can be stimulating, motivating and a tremendous learning experience. Compare their similarities and differences - great individual and group activities.
Some examples of famous dreamers are Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller, Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci.
We need to ask ourselves when our kids are inattentive and have that far away look - "Why does a child dream in class? Is school work boring or too hard? Is the child more excited with outside activities? Is there another reason for this behaviour?"
You may want to set up a "dream corner" where your students can be alone with their thoughts for a short period of time. George B. Leonard's book, "Education & Ectasy" challenges us "Dare we dream, big dreams?"
If we as teachers can't dream big (red convertible), how can we encourage our students to do so? Also, if we can't dream big, we probably won't achieve big, either personally or professionally. As Henry David Thoreau states, "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."
We, as educators, need to set the appropriate time and structure opportunities for students to dream. Encouraged sharing can be done through their descriptive speech, creative writing, art work, etc., etc., etc. Here lies the excitement of teaching, where little and big stars are born.
I hope you now realize that dreams can open up new paths in learning and that dreaming belongs in the classroom. Dreams are where hopes come from and as Aristotle said,"Hope is a waking dream".
If dream time was good enough for those IBM executives, is it not worth a try for you and your students?
"Dare to live the life you have dreamed of for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true!" Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Stay tuned for my upcoming newsletters. Topics include:
1. Handling the children of teachers.
2. Managing the Defier.
3. Creating a Monster
4. Counselling Student Attitudes
... and the list goes on.
I hope you had a restful and joyous holiday. Happy and healthy new year and remember " A dreamer lives for eternity".
New! Comments Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.