I have a student who every day, every single day, each day, without fail, says at least five times per class, “Wait. This is hard. But wait. No wait. It’s hard. I mean. Wait. This is hard.” And yes, I do mean she says that entire long string of sentences at least five times per class.
Today she recited her lament in record time. The following interchange ensued.
Me: I’m tired of your telling me this is hard.
Student: But wait. It’s hard, though.
Me: Yes, this is hard. High school is hard. Learning is hard. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean you cannot do it. I have complete faith in your ability to do this assignment. What I don’t understand is why you do not.”
Student: Um, ok
Me: So do you understand what I’m asking you to do?
Student: Yeah, I understand and all, but it’s just hard.
Me: I know. Just write down what’s on your mind and keep going from there. I’ll come back to check on you in a few minutes.