Saying I can is not always something I have been good at doing for myself. Which is funny, or ironic, because it is the one thing that I wanted to foster in my students no matter what else my students learned each year that I taught. I wanted my students to believe every day that they faced something new, something difficult, something that maybe they had no desire to do.
These thoughts of my students, and saying I can have been on my mind a lot in the last six months, since I left that place…that place where I was confident to help each curious mind find their own strengths to say I can. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was not me as the teacher fostering a belief in “I can.” It was the students.
The students who faced each new day with curiosity The students who faced each new day with trepidation at times, but always with a willingness to try. Students that had difficulty making friends but were thoughtful and insightful with every word they shared. Or students that had difficult reading but whose ideas were creative and complex. Students who learned and excelled despite chatting too much or students who made progress after starting a year as perfectionists that they never wanted to take any risks.
Those students, those faces of children, were the ones that taught me about “I can.” Their smiles, their joy, their excitement as they conquered each day. They are the ones that I think of when I am in my new home office wondering if I can survive as a freelance writer. Theirs are the voices I hear every time doubt creeps into my mind when I dream of being a motivational speaker. Theirs are the faces that I see on the trail beckoning me to run just a little longer.
There is a reason that I keep the very last gift I received as a classroom teacher on our kitchen table, a wooden carved lazy susan, with each of my students’s faces looking at me each day, three times a day. They are my reminder. They are where I draw my strength.
Because here is the thing. A child that believes in “I can” is a powerful thing. In most cases they have not had enough life experiences to worry about the excuses or obstacles. They do not heed the advice or tips of others that have gone before them. They just believe.
Which of course, is something we should all do. It is something that I should do for sure.
What about you? Are you ready to believe in I can?
This month’s Be Enough Me prompt will be open for TWO weeks. Because we know…we believe…that YOU can.