I just love it when lessons have unintended consequences. Dream Big has moved into its third week, and the kids are polishing their plans and analyzing the skills they need for success. We used the Remember the Name Michael Jordan Remix by Fort Minor as our transition song- the lyrics talk about “10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will” which gives a great lead in to the importance of determination and hard work. They all know Michael Jordan and the story of how he was cut from his high school basketball team. We talk about the choices he had- he could quit, he could blame outside issues, or he could get to work on improving. We had a great discussion about coaches and teachers who “don’t like me” and what the options for the kids are in those situations. I hadn’t planned this part- it just sort of appeared as a teachable moment-so I expanded and suggested that teachers that are “mean” by pushing them to do better probably see a spark of promise in them. This surprised a bunch of the kids- you could see the lights go on.
The other unintended gift of this project has been having the seniors come visit. At first, the seniors were a bit reluctant, thinking they had little to offer. Now, the word appears to have spread. I have kids stopping me in the hall asking if they can talk to my classes. They come and talk about handling setbacks, about making choices to be successful and how they stay on track. It’s great to see them recognize the value of the strength and dedication to their own dreams. One young woman pursuing a career in art said, “When you get up in the morning, you will be with yourself all day. If you can put yourself in a place where you are happy, it will be a good day. Don’t let others define where that will be.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.