Lessons From The Leaping Frog

I asked the group of eleven year old students I teach to draw a frog leaping. I knew it was a difficult task so I expected a few complains but they love drawing and I wanted them to try something new. Something out of their comfort zone of the usual mangoes and carrots they draw. The first response I got was quite expected. ‘Madam, we can’t draw a frog leaping’ Now, this is the rule in my class. No one is allowed to say ‘I cannot.  I never thought that I would have to enforce this rule as a teacher. One kid suggested a solution; I draw the frog leaping on the board, this would serve as their guide to draw theirs. As soon as he said that I knew they believed I could draw a frog leaping.  The fact that I gave the assignment didn’t mean I could do it myself .The truth was I couldn’t, at least that was what I thought.  I couldn’t draw a frog much less one leaping. It seemed too difficult a task to even attempt. ‘I can’t draw it. So everybody start work’ I said. One of the girls reminded me of the number one rule in the class. No one is allowed to say ‘I can’t so because leadership is by example, I had to go by the rules too. I had to draw a frog or at least try to draw one. What if it was indeed too difficult for them? Perhaps I should’ve changed the assignment and given them what they could actually draw, a table or a chair maybe? Something they were used to .Something within their comfort zone. A part of me also knew I had to prove a point. I had to prove that it doesn’t matter how impossible a task may seem, if you never try you will never know if you’ll succeed and that some things are worth a try even if you fail. I was so intimidated whilst drawing this leaping frog that I asked another teacher to help out but it all came back to the point I was trying to make. No matter how difficult a task maybe, it is always worth an attempt. Sometimes ,an impossible task may not be impossible but you can only prove that if you try. So I stood in front of the blackboard with all eyes on me and attempted to draw a frog. I feel a lot of pressure because I knew the kids looked at me with lot expectations.  It was not until I had finished drawing and look at it form a distant that I knew what I had achieved. I drew a frog. The kids were so impressed but not as surprised as I was. I didn’t think I could. The frog intimidated me so much I thought is was hopeless to even try. But I ended up proving to myself more the kids that you never really know what you are good at until you try. Sometimes, things can seem so big and impossible but we have nothing to loose with a try. All the achievers in the world have one thing in common: they took a chance. They tried. Yes,\just like the leaping frog some task may be intimidating but it takes a little confidence dare to attempt to achieve what seems impossible. You are sure to surprise yourself when you dare to try!