Teaching to Dream
These stories are from my experiences as a grade 3 public school teacher.
“Ano ang gusto mong maging paglaki?” (What do you want to be when you grow up?)
That was the first question I posed to my students on the first day of class. I watched as they nervously raised their hands to share their dream with me and I listened carefully as they answered in near whispers just because they were too shy to speak out on the first day of school.
Now, I have 11 doctors, 8 teachers, 6 police officers, 4 engineers, 3 dentists, 3 stewardesses, 2 seamen, 2 pilots, 2 singing divas, 2 superstar actresses, 1 accountant, 1 mechanic, 1 nurse, 1 chef, 1 footballer, 1 fashion designer and 1 soldier.
All of us grade 3 teachers in our school did this activity during the first day because we realized during our practice teaching days how positively the kids respond when they are called by their profession and their name. In fact, some kids feel really special even if you just call them by their first name.
I guess the biggest reason why we did this, beyond making the students feel good, is because we want to teach the kids to dream. For most of their lives, they have just been told to “study hard so that they will have a better life.” These kids haven’t been taught to dream and worse part is they haven’t been taught that they can really make their dreams come true.
That’s where we, the teachers, come in.
Beyond Math, English, Filipino, Science, Araling Panlipunan and the other subjects, we are trying to teach our students to aspire for something big. Realistic, yes; But Big and Daring. We are trying to teach our students to have goals to work hard for so that they will feel the importance of the rest of the academic subjects when it comes to achieving that goals. That way, their studies gain meaning, going to school becomes more exciting and finishing their education becomes more important.
These kids are brilliant and they can really succeed – they just don’t know it yet.