What is our role as educators

During the past 16 years I have been involved in education as a teacher, leader and headteacher. On reflection I can now say that during a large amount of that time, I rarely reflected on what was my role as an educator. I guess I believed that it was my job to teach my students certain skills or facts, so that at some point in the future they could get a job. I also believed that it was my role to help nurture the personal and social wellbeing of the students in order to support their development in becoming good citizens.

During the last couple of years I have started to look at things differently. I pondered the question that maybe my role was to support my students to create their DREAMS. Not just settling for any profession or ones that society or culture has labelled as the ‘good jobs’, but to actually help our future generation achieve their magical dreams, whatever that might be.

Surely if everyone was immersed in their dreams and passions then the world would be a happier place?????

I had to ask myself at this point, have I ever asked the students I work with ‘What are your dreams?’. The truthful answer was, NO! This was something that I wanted to explore, so I started to ask the students about their dreams. The response I received was shocking. Most students had down graded their dreams, due to certain fears and limiting beliefs surrounding what they truly desired. The notion that ‘anything was possible’ was leaving our youth at such a young age.

When discussing these findings with other teachers and leaders in the school, I was surprised that they did not see it as a problem that our students were down grading their dreams and believed that it was probably better that our youth settled for what was ‘realistic’, rather than dreaming. The notion that ‘anything was possible” had totally left the teachers and leaders.

As educators, how can we create a generation of change makers? When the truth is that we do not believe that ‘anything is possible’. I have discovered that communication is more than words and that even if we say to the students ‘dream big’, ‘anything is possible’, if we don't truly believe it, this energy is felt.

I have come to the conclusion that it is our job as educators to help our youth create their DREAMS. The first step I urge you to take is to start to ask the students you work with “What is your dream?” and then question how much time you spend teaching your students the skills to move towards these dreams.

Have an awareness of when your students discuss their dreams with you, of any limiting beliefs running through your head, why these students couldn't achieve their dreams and then step into the place where ‘anything is possible’.

We know how much influence you have on your students, so its time to create a generation of change makers and dreamers. Believing that ‘anything is possible’, is the place I believe most of teachers need to be.

Rachel Lloyd
Co - Founder of Limitless Education