Friday, January 22, 2010

We can do hard things

One of my fantastic co-workers adopted the phrase "We can do hard things" into her every day classroom language.
I love it.
I love that when she's giving directions she may end with, "Will it be hard? Yes. But we can do hard things."
I love that when a child tells me a book is too hard all I have to say is, "We can do hard things".
I love when children seem confused we can say, "Keep thinking, I know this isn't easy, but we can do hard things"
I love working with a struggling child and saying, "I know this is hard for you. But we can do hard things"
I love that it's "We can" and not "You can" because it reminds the child that we're in this together- we're all working hard. In fact, it makes hard work an expectation.

There is something so freeing about letting go of the expectation that everything is going to be easy, and that things that are not easy are OK.

And somehow, after a week or so of using the phrase in the classroom it's crept into my own psyche. I find myself thinking, "We can do hard things" when I'm feeling overwhelmed with whatever task I have in front of me. And when trying to decide between two options- "We can do hard things" pops into my head and before I know it I've chosen the harder option.

try it as your mantra for just one day and see what happens...


Tom Barrett said...

great mantra for someone just starting out in subbing! : )

JYB said...

I teach 8th graders so "We can do hard things" is probably not the best wording. I actually used to use "Hard is good" for awhile but that quickly got a little too...demonstrative. I switched to "Easy is boring" midyear but decided that was too passive. I'm going to pull out my Choice Words vocab here and say I really like how your co-worker's words create identity and agency.

Amy said...

I love it! I need to say it to myself first then I will begin using it with the kids.

Jill Fisch said...

I love this phrase and how your coworker is using it. I need to use it myself and with my daughter and in my teaching. Thanks for sharing.

Kids, Canines, and Chaos said...

I LOVE it! I'm thinking I need to adopt it in my own personal life and within my classroom. I have often tried to convince my children that it's okay to do things that are hard. Our school adopted the phrase, "Rigor makes your brain sweat!" and we talk about how when we are active our bodies sweat, so our brain should sweat when it's working hard. They, however, don't like the idea of their brain sweating. Perhaps it's a little too visual for them? I think this will be awesome! And they LOVE to hear about my trials and tribulations, so I can use that as a think aloud when I'm writing, reading, or doing math with them! YAY! Thanks for sharing!