This mother’s day is a little sad for me, because it may be the last one for a while that my daughter is home with us. She’s heading off to Toronto next year to chase her dreams; she’s going to be studying musical theatre at Randolph Academy and after that, who knows where she will be, what stage she will be on. I am bursting with pride and excited for her that she is finally getting to study what has been a passion of hers since she could walk and talk.
When she graduated from high school she was top of her class, and could have gotten into any school she wanted to get in to. Instead, she is heading off to pursue a very challenging career, one that will not likely bring her a lot of financial success. Many people–friends, relatives, colleagues–were surprised to hear of her choice. One co-teacher even said, “Well, maybe she’ll change her mind.” The spoken and unspoken words centered around the same thought: she’s so smart, why would she do that? My answer is always the same: because it’s what she loves to do. She is well aware of what the life she has chosen entails, and yet she is running happily toward it, with no illusions. Just excitement.
I’d like my students to think about their future in the same way: to consider their passions but to keep their eyes wide open. Too often they mindlessly choose majors based on what others want, or what will bring them financial success, instead of what will make them feel fulfilled. On the flip side, sometimes they make unrealistic choices based on their fantasies. I’ve come up with lesson that takes a balanced approach, and asks students to reflect on the pros and cons of following their dreams. If you’d like to see it, you can find it here: