“Nothing happens in the ‘real’ world unless it first happens in the images in our heads” ~Gloria Anzaldúa
At our last PUENTE meeting with our parent/caregiver partners from SEEDS, we started our time together engaged in an opening community reading and writing experience. Our opening reading and writing was focused on the dreams we hold close to our hearts. I selected the bilingual poem, “The Dream on My Wall,” by Jane Medina to open our discussion about dream(s) and dreaming.
Teachers and parents sat alongside one another as the poem was read aloud in English and Spanish. After a brief discussion of the poem, teachers and parents had time to draw and write about their dream(s).
This opening reading and writing is an important part of our PUENTE meeting. It brings the community together to explore and examine our lives through reading and writing that stems from our lived experiences. As we read and write together we discuss our lives which leads to generative themes to explore in 1-1 partner time and in the next meeting during opening reading and writing. In addition, it is another opportunity for parents to practice English by orally sharing, drawing and writing about their lives and further developing their vocabulary based upon their own experiences.
As parents and teachers finished drawing and writing about their dreams, several people shared their dreams with the entire group.
Collectively we dream about:
- A cleaner planet
- Starting a Mexican restaurant serving traditional Mexican food
- A clean DREAM Act
- Our children to attend college
- Living a healthy life with our families
- Becoming teachers that honor students and families
- Returning to our homes
- Seeing family members that we have not seen for many years
As Gloria Anzaldúa reminds us, “Nothing happens in the ‘real’ world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.” I believe that telling our dreams to one another is a way that we may begin to breathe them into reality. Together we can begin to construct and (re)construct reality and imagine endless possibilities.
As teachers, we learn a little more about the parents that we are privileged to work alongside during our time together. These conversations teach us more about what matters most to families and how we can be better serve them in our future classrooms.