A Teacher’s Dream

A teacher’s dream originated from a mother’s desire to either make her children great speakers or give them courage when fear is staring them in the face. Either way, she used public speaking to accomplish the goal. In fact, her children grew up with “Mom’s Public Demand.” What was it? Every child, boy or girl, had to learn speeches and perform them “on stage” at the family church. Mom did not consider whether or not the kid was “deathly” afraid of standing in front of people a viable excuse. Her criteria were: ” You can talk, and you are intelligent. Learn that speech!”

black father speaking with child at home
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

There were various actions that followed when we “landed on the stage.” Some children begin the speech and tears took over, others forgot most of the speech, and some simply “froze” on the stage and said nothing. It didn’t matter, you had to make your “onstage debut.” Luckily, I loved the stage. It gave me instant attention–an attention that made me excel over my siblings. This attitude (whether friend or foe) set the stage for a teacher’s dream.

A Teacher’s Dream for Students

For many childhood years, yours truly spoke before large audiences! Years later as a teacher, this talent had to be transformed in some way. It touched the lives of thousands of students via classroom presentations, glee clubs, operettas and plays. The “dream” culminated in the “I Have a Dream Speech” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered at a spring concert. Many days and months were spent getting ready for the concert. Our efforts made the students “winners. “The Speech was “as perfect” as any third, fourth, fourth and sixth graders could make it. The Chicago Children’s Choir is an example of what we sought to achieve. We never reached that level . . . the idea was to instill in students they could.

Chicago Children’s Choir

Using the Teacher’s Speaking Talent

Preparation for the performance of the I Have a Dream Speech was in several stages:

  • Acquainting Children with the Significance of the Speech
  • Becoming Inspired by the Message
  • Become a Future Advocate for the Dream of Dr. King
  • Learn How to Deliver the Speech in a Convincing Manner

As I pondered how I would get the students to recite the Speech “my way,” I chose to have them repeat each sentence immediately after I spoke it. Passion, sincerity, fervor and speech inflections were key. I knew those had to be taught “by rote.” Dr, King was a “master” in all of them! I had to emulate him (as much as humanly possible) so that my students could emulate me! Below is the “playbook that I used. Make sure you view the video . . . it highlights the teacher’s dream.

A Teacher’s “I Have a Dream Speech” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Teacher’s Dream

Many people in the country today, never knew the essence of that speech…cannot contemplate that we are at the crossroads of continuing the struggle to make America “a more perfect union”. If we are to do so, our culture must be transformed into one that practices equality, freedom and justice for all. Dr. King’s dream has never reached a reality, and some. . . are doing everything they can to make sure it does not. Remember. . . working together we succeed. . . divided . . . we fall.

Dr. King’s life is a “mirror” for all to stand in front of. No matter the goal or challenge, if guided by love and peace…we will overcome.