But I Don’t Know How


The starting point of all achievement is desire. – Napoleon Hill

A was walking around the classroom collecting and holding every single wooden plank, which is a new material in our room. I waited a bit, trying to distinguish if he was collecting them simply to collect them, or if he was working out a plan for them. Based on his body language, and his sporadic movement of the planks I had thought he had a plan for them but didn’t know where to start.

I told A, “I notice you have been walking around the room with a lot of planks in your arms. Do you have a plan for them?”

A sat down on the ground, in what I would describe as a tired heap, and said, “Yeah. I wanted to make a house but I don’t know how.” 

I replied, “Oh you want to build a house, I see. I wonder if it would be helpful to draw out what you want your house to look like?”


The blueprint for success is inside you. It will stay there unless you take it out and create it. – Larina Kase

A jumped up, grabbed some paper and a marker and got to work. He spoke out loud as he drew each part of the house – the walls, windows, door, lock, and sidewalk surrounding the house. When he was done, we went back to the blocks. A handed me the paper and said, “Can you hold this and make sure I am doing it right.” I took this as a cue to hold the paper up for him to reference while he worked.

Alone we are smart. Together we are brilliant. – Steven Anderson

A started on the sidewalk, then the walls of the house. He added additions that differed from his original plans as he worked, such as a mud pit and a door for animals to use. He also stopped now and then to look at the picture, “Oh no I forgot the lock!”. 

He also was able to work with others who were drawn to what he was building, responding to their questions or advice without ever stopping. J said, “Oh but what about a rain gutter.” A grabbed a plank as a rain gutter and rested it against the house. He replied, “Yes, thank you, I forgot a rain gutter.”

L said, “But why aren’t you building any bedrooms.” In which A asked L to help him add rooms. They used small blocks to make rooms inside the house.

A decided he was done, gave it a once over, and realized he also forgot a roof! “Can someone help me make a roof?” 

By this point, there was a whole group of children working on the house, as well as other children who were inspired to draw their own plans and build their own houses elsewhere in the room. The entire time, A stayed focused yet flexible, determined yet relaxed.


“I made it big enough for us to all live in. Now it is done.” 

Achieving a goal is nothing. The getting there is everything. – Jules Michelet

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