Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, "I’m Possible"!
four kids and I are preparing to run a 5K. They’re almost always
grouchy when we head out the door, and it all comes down to one thing:
Running is hard.
is in the best condition of all of us. She runs fall cross country,
winter running club, and summer running club. She doesn’t like to push
herself, though, so I made this rule: If I pass Hannah, then she is on
laundry duty for the day.
is built like a power forward for the basketball court. She is not
built like a runner. Running hurts her toes, ankles, knees . . . and all
the other 2,000 parts of her. She had a hard time breathing, too. I
took her to the doctor, and they said she has asthma. An inhaler has
made the running go better. Breathing makes a big difference in the
enjoyment of a run.
is a tank. He’s running to be better on the football field. He’s
mentally tough and just keeps going. The problem is he doesn’t run a
straight line. He weaves. When he weaves, he cuts people off, and it is
likely the person behind him will trip. Usually it’s Stephanie behind
him. Usually she falls flat. Then lies there for too long, yelling at
Jay’s back that he should run
is built like a runner, but is still developing the mental toughness to
be a runner. When he’s feeling strong, he flies like a bullet train.
(That’s his analogy, not mine.) When the running is hard, it is likely
he’ll sit down on the edge of the road and wait for the return trip.
hope I never quit running because, man, it’s not fun becoming a runner.
I keep telling myself it’s going to get easier, but I’m gasping for air
and I’m wondering if maybe it's so hard because I’m not in my twenties
Meanwhile, I remember I’m a fellow runner and a mom. It wouldn’t be a very good example to collapse, so I encourage instead.
Stephanie says, “I’m going to fall over.”
I say, “I know.”
Sam says, “My legs are going to fall off.”
I say, “I know.”
Hannah says, “I have to slow down.”
I say, “I know” and, “Have fun doing the laundry.”
Jay doesn’t say anything because tanks don’t talk. They just keep going.
the best encouragement is affirmation that this thing we’re doing is
really hard. I call out the remaining time, and we keep plodding
alongside the endless cornfields. At the end of the run, we are all
still upright. No one has quit breathing. No legs have fallen off. The
kids aren’t arguing any more. They smile and laugh. They encourage one
another and say thanks for the help. They go again
the next time, because the feeling of impossible becoming possible
always sticks with a person.
reminds me of facing hard tasks in the classroom. Kids face many
challenges that seem impossible. There’s stress when we face tasks that
we may fail at doing. It’s not fun to keep going in the midst of hard.
Sometimes all that’s needed is affirmation that things feel impossible,
but when we keep trying, impossible turns to possible.
This week we look at building stamina in young learners. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
"Why do you always say 'Happy reading!' to us?" This question from a first grader leads Katrina Edwards to develop visual support tools for building stamina during reading workshops in her first-grade classroom:
Stamina is a term we use often in literacy
instruction, but it can be tricky for students and teachers to define in
classroom contexts. Heather Rader looks at the specific attributes of writing stamina, as well as how to model it for students:
Join us in November for two online courses focused on leadership skills. Jennifer Allen leads Better Meetings (November 2 - 13) and Jennifer Schwanke is the instructor for The Principal's Role in Evaluating and Supporting Literacy Instruction (November 28 - December 2). You'll get personal responses to all your questions, view webcasts, and receive books, DVDs, and online
resources to enhance the learning. Click on the link for details: