Spring break in my house means two things, finishing my taxes and deep cleaning. The taxes are a small homage to my parents' whose tax business I worked in for most of my life, especially over my spring breaks. Spring cleaning brings back memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House on the Prairie. They would engage in a full-scale exercise of shooing the winter away by cleaning from top to bottom. I admit I don't go that far with the cleaning, that's my husband's job, but I like the purging that spring break brings. While I was in my daughter's room today, I noticed that she has posted dreams on her mirror above her desk. At age 8, she wants to go to Paris, because that is where many artists live, write a comic, and run a mile. She wanted to be a dolphin trainer at one time. Who will she want to do next?
I had many dreams. The first recorded by one of my mom's college classmates when I was ten. She interviewed me for a child development class. I said that I wanted to be "a lawyer, doctor, and President of the United States." When I was 16, I wanted to be an astronaut. When I graduated from high school, a chemical engineer or a journalist. In a round-about way, I did reach one of my 10 year-old dreams of being a doctor. No matter how I got there, I am living my dream.
What I do remember most on my path to achieving my dream is that no one laughed and people supported me on that quest. When I was in 10th grade and wanted to be an astronaut, someone believed that I could do that and was committed to helping me get into The Naval Academy. I babysat his grandkids. I watched my dad support my mom's dreams of earning her college degree. He knew how far your dreams could carry you with the right supports.
My cousin, age 18 just decided to pursue her dream of going to fashion school. I am so excited for her. How many people push aside their dreams because they don't have the courage to believe in themselves or don't have the support they need to channel that courage? A teacher has the opportunity to help students follow their dreams every day. Help them dream big, no matter the path they will have to take to get there.