I Know You Can’t Do It


Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking out true potential – Winston Churchill

R approached me with a piece of fabric in hand and asked me to tie it onto him like a cape.

“You would like the fabric to be a cape.”

“Yeah  so tie it for me.” 

“You want me to tie it for you. I’m not going to tie the fabric for you.”

“But I can’t do it by myself.”

“You can’t tie the fabric.”

“I’m too small.”

“You think you can’t tie the fabric because you are too small?”

“Yeah I am. So I can’t make a cape. So you do it.”

“You can’t make a cape by tying it, so you think you can’t make a cape.”


I am not at all against helping children, even with tasks they can do themselves. Interdependence in the classroom is always my goal, everybody helping each other, playing a part, working together. However lately I am seeking out opportunities for children to work through emotional scenarios in a safe space. Yes, I could tie the fabric for R. I also think though, that it is okay if R can’t do it. It is okay if he never does it. It is okay for it to not get done.


Sometimes deciding to quit something is the most remarkably bold and courageous thing you can do. – Brendon Burchard

R tried a few different wys to get the fabric to transform into a cape. He wrapped it over his shoulders, held the points together, but it never quite felt right. He eventually looped it over his head, smiled, and then started to laugh. He stood there for a moment, seemingly contemplating his predicament.


Feelings are much like waves. We can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.

R dropped the fabric and walked over to the clay. He started to push the clay down, while his face showed an array of emotions. Slowly he went from pushing, squishing, and banging the clay to flattening it. His face transformed from one that looked angry and frustrated, to one that looked determined. He looked up with a huge smile on his face and said, “I made a little cape!”


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