About Impact

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day of Dreams

We were asked to allow our students to watch the inauguration festivities. My students joked that history was made twice today. One with Obama being sworn in as president and one with Miss Koutz allowing her students to watch TV in class. They're right. It will probably never happen again.

I like to take advantage of every second I have with my students. Everything we do in my classroom has a purpose and my students now it. Today was no different. I wanted them to witness history but I wanted it to be more than just watching TV. We discussed how Obama must feel reaching his dream. I asked them to think about their dreams and write them down. There were some typical responses and some that shocked me.

What My Students Dream...
  • Play Professional Sports (Basketball, football, wrestle, and soccer)
  • Fashion Designer/Visual Artist
  • Professional Musician
  • Dancer
  • Actor/Actress
  • Teacher
  • Rich
  • Doctor/Nurse
  • Veterinarian
  • Scientist
  • Police Officer
  • Chef
  • Join the Army
  • President (including the first women president and first Hispanic president)
  • Astronaut (including the first human to walk on Mars)
Nothing too out of the ordinary in that list. These next two were a little surprising. One student wants to be a pirate, complete with an eye patch, and another wants to be super hero with super powers. I'll be honest, I laughed a little at those. But there were a handful that really made me stop and think.
  • Five students said their biggest dream was to get a good education. You see many of my students will never get the chance to go to college. Statistically a significant number won't even finish high school. For some students an education may be the very thing that breaks the cycle of poverty for their family.
  • One student said he dream was to visit Washington, DC. His parents were both born and raised in South Bend. They have never left the Michiana area. I love that our school takes our 8th graders to DC every year.
  • Three students didn't care what it was they did they just wanted to do some thing that would make an impact. They want to make the world a better place. One mentioned doing it with one act of kindness at a time. They want to feed the hungry and build homes for the homeless. I have some smart students!
  • "No Steeling" was written on one paper. I honestly didn't know what to do with that one. I don't know who's paper this was but I love this student's honesty. I have lots of mixed feelings about this one.
Each of those hit a different part of my heart but this last one hits harder than any. Folded up in a small square, I found a paper that read, "Why do you care?" This breaks my heart. It came from a student in the class I know the best. This student thinks they will amount to nothing because it is what they have been told. That makes me angry.

I'm praying God will show me new ways every day to show all of my students they have value and matter to a God who is much bigger than whatever is in their world right now.

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