bedtime stories · elementary school · slice of life

Hopes & Dreams

I’ve been in the business of thinking about “hopes and dreams” ever since I completed my Responsive Classroom training a decade ago. I’ve asked fourth and fifth graders to write about their hopes and dreams. I’ve invited parents/guardians into school and asked them to share their hopes and dreams for their child’s school year with their child. I’ve even written hopes and dreams for my students as they got ready to leave my classroom to move to the next grade.

Tonight, I will share my hopes and dream with Isabelle since she starts Kindergarten tomorrow.

Despite the fact that I was unsettled about Isabelle starting camp back in July, I’m remarkably at peace with the fact she will begin elementary school tomorrow. Her teachers are nurturing people with many years of experience as educators. They’ve taken the time to talk with me on the phone and meet with me in person to discuss my concerns based upon everything she’s overcome in the past few years.

Tonight, in lieu of one of her bedtime books, I will share the following letter with Isabelle. It contains two hopes and a dream I have for her for the upcoming school year. While these aren’t all I hope and dream for, they’re the things that are most important to me when I think about what I want her to get out of Kindergarten. It’s my hope (No pun intended!) that these words stay with her as she closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep tonight.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Click on the image to enlarge.
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17 thoughts on “Hopes & Dreams

  1. I wish I had been a writer when my kids were kids to have all these special moments documented the way you have for Isabelle. I am thinking of you on her first days especially!

  2. I love this idea! My older son started preschool camp this summer, and begins preschool in two weeks. Because I’ll be at work, I am not going to be able to drop him off on the first day. (*SOB*) I love this idea, and am stealing it to use with my own boys! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Imi started yesterday! How time flies, Stacey. What a sweet letter & I like imagining you reading & then talking with Isabelle about those hopes & dreams. Best wishes to her & you in this newest journey.

    1. I know Imi and Isabelle are about the same age. It’s hard to believe it’s been just a little over five years since they were born!

      I caved and read it to her this afternoon. She was playing so sweetly after she came home from the open house at her school. I couldn’t resist snuggling with her on the couch and reading it to her. And then I read it to her at bedtime again.

  4. I was told it was hard for some people to see the letter. Hence, here it is in its entirety:

    August 23rd, 2016
    Dear Isabelle,
    Tomorrow is your first day of Kindergarten! I’m happy you’re excited to start school. I know your teachers are looking forward to having you in their class this year. I am confident you’re going to love being in Kindergarten.
    When I was a classroom teacher, I asked my students to think about their hopes and dreams for the school year. A hope is a feeling something will happen the way you want it to happen. A dream is a goal or something you want and work for. It may take you a few weeks to figure out what your hopes and dreams are for Kindergarten. However, I want to share my hopes and dream for this school year with you right now.
    My hopes for you this year:
    • I hope you use your voice to participate in class and to speak up for yourself. Talking has gotten much easier for you! You are capable of speaking for yourself. Ask for what you need when you need it. Your teachers have promised me they will give you more time to get your words out if you need extra time. They will ask your friends to do this for you too. Be confident that you will be heard!
    • I hope you continue to work on being a good person. Everyone has feelings. It’s important to think of other people’s feelings when you talk to them. If you see someone sad or struggling, ask them how you can help. Always be kind to your teachers and to other kids.
    My dream for you this year is to become a confident reader. You know how to read signs whether it’s the word “Giant” on the supermarket or “car wash” when you pass by one. You know letters make words. You also recognize your name and your friend’s names. This year, I hope you will recognize “everywhere words” in books, magazines, and out in the world. It takes time and practice to learn how to read. Be patient with yourself this year.
    Your hopes and dreams might be different than the hopes and dream I have for you. It’s okay for them to be unlike each other. But these are my hopes and dream for you.
    I love you with all of my heart.
    Love,
    Mommy

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