The way you start the school year sets the tone. Make it positive, meaningful, and inspiring. To quote Bob Dylan, “Don’t underestimate me, and I won’t underestimate you.”

Teachers and parents can help make this coming school year a DREAM for students!

Step #1: On the first day of school, find out what students’ dreams are.
Step #2: For the rest of the year, teach to that dream for each student as part of personalized learning. Connect what they’re learning to what matters to them as often as you can.

Considerable evidence and sentiment – including a recent Gallup survey of 2,586 superintendents across the US – is building that what’s important to student success in life is engagement in their learning, their ability to visualize and plan for their future, and hope. Teach to the dream!

The Legacy Project offers plenty of ideas for making the most of a dream theme this school year to inspire students and teachers:

From the time we’re little, we make wishes on stars – which makes the concept of dreams very evocative, emotive, and personally powerful. But dreams and goals are also practical and powerful in the sense of life success. Life success lies in the dreams we have, the goals we set and achieve, in what some researchers have termed “planful competence.”

The Legacy Project also has a powerful activity in which students are encouraged to dream “the next page” of their life:

Like our unique fingerprints, each of us has something a little different, a little special, that we can offer to the world that no one else can. What makes you unique? What important dreams do you have for yourself, your community, or our world? Each of us has a life story, and it’s up to you to decide what comes next in your life story. No one can write our story for us.

When students can visualize it, they’re far more likely to be motivated to work toward it. Teach to the dream.

For more resources to use across the school year, check out:

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