I am always delighted to see my students writing of their own free will! The photo above is from a post on a new blog by one of my long-ago students, Amy. I remember how reluctant and timid she was to take Level 3 as a freshman, but she did it. Then, as a senior, she took it again voluntarily because she thought it would be good for her! In her post, Amy talks about the importance of doing “scary things.”
My Writing to Learn students well know this behavior as the Do Hard Things principle, which Alex and Brett Harris introduced in 2005 on their Rebelution blog and in their 2008 book, Do Hard Things. Specifically, the type of hard thing Amy discusses is the first of five, known as “Going outside your comfort zone.”
Although many despair over the current “snowflake generation,” young people who need to be coddled and who cannot cope with the heretofore expected stresses of everyday life, my experience with the young people in my writing classes has been otherwise. Personally, I am encouraged by the attitudes and work ethic of my students, and I have great hope that they and others like them will be the vanguard for a renewed culture. I coach all of my classes using the Do Hard Things principle, because I am thoroughly convinced of their great abilities and potential. Rarely am I disappointed.
Great job, Amy! I’m so proud of you for your writing and for Doing Hard Things!