As a teacher, I always asked my students about their dreams and aspirations. Teaching in an urban setting, many of my students wanted to be athletes or musical artists because this was what they saw successful people who looked like them doing.
With this in mind, I didn't want to push them away from those dreams, but I did want to expose them to other options and get them to start thinking bigger-
We would have discussions about how to take their dreams to the next level. I.e. instead of just being an NBA player, why not be the owner of the team, then you can do what you want. Instead of being a rapper, why not own the record label?
I began to integrate their dreams into the classroom experiences. We completed research projects on career options and then another on colleges with programs that could help them reach that desired dream.
One of our writing standards was for the students to be able to write business letters. So, after completing their research, I had them write letters to the college , or colleges for some of them (I didn't want to limit them). What was even more exciting for them was the joy on their faces when some of them actually received letters back from schools like Harvard and Yale. This was major for fourth graders in the little ol' city on Orangeburg, South Carolina. But not only did we receive letters, but we also had a couple of special guests stop in to speak to the class in person and via video chats!
When I say dream big, DREAM BIGGER, I'm saying that you shouldn't limit yourself to only a big dream. How can you make that dream even bigger? What learning activities can you incorporate to help your students begin to think and DREAM BIGGER? What can you do to model DREAMING BIGGER for your students?