Recently, one of my lovely students was telling me how afraid she was to try new things. She's only 7-years old. She wanted to try softball, but she feared that she wasn't going to be any good. I reminded her that she never wants to learn a new concept with me, but I always insist that we do it. I also reminded her that every new concept that I have taught her, she now is capable of doing. We talked about the importance of pushing forward instead of pulling back. I said we need to push forward and get through a difficult time or something challenging in order to conquer it and move forward towards success. We even did funny things like pushing a chair forward and pulling it back.
I said to her, "what if I just said OK we won't do that today, it's too hard." She said, "But then I wouldn't learn anything." I replied, "Exactly!"
She actually reminded me of this concept today during a lesson. She said she was nervous about starting 2nd grade, but she was going to push through her fear (like I taught her to do) and be excited about the new experience instead. I was really proud of her.
We all face difficult times and challenging situations. But it is how you face the challenges that really makes the difference. By supporting the students that I am working with, I am scaffolding them to push forward. They learn that through effort and repetition they will at last succeed. It doesn't happen overnight. Not everything is a quick fix. Telling them that it will be hard, but that they are capable of doing it makes them feel very proud of their efforts. I think that is the best idea I can teach my students. Don't give up, push forward!
You must try, try and try...you'll succeed at last.