Challenging {The Prompt}

One of my biggest frustrations as a teacher is the way that students shy away from a challenge. As soon as things start to get tough far too many of them give up.

“I can’t do it” or “I just don’t get it”

I’ve lost counts of how many times I’ve discussed with my classes how they will find things difficult at times, but that is when you need to put that little bit more effort in.

Some of my pupils rise to the challenge so well I’m in awe of them but far too many shrug their shoulders and in their words “CBA”. (Can’t Be Arsed for those not to up to speed with teenage lingo!)

It’s one of the biggest concerns in our staffroom. Lovely, bright and intelligent kids who aren’t quite living up to their full potential because they don’t want to face up to the challenge, and with that the risk of failure.

I wish I knew what the answer was, I don’t know how to stop the fear of failure that seems ingrained in so many of our children. I hate seeing 11 year olds too worried to write down an answer in case it’s wrong.

But sometimes I feel like a hypocrite.

How often do I challenge myself?

How often do I push myself out of my comfort zone? Where you get that feeling of panic and the adrenaline kicks in. Probably nowhere near as often as I should.

The last time I really challenged myself was over a year ago when I decided it would be a good idea to try and teach a class of Year 9’s how to knit in a week. Not one of my better ideas seeing as I didn’t know how to knit myself, but that was my challenge, and it kind of paid off.


However, I have now set myself a huge challenge. For the past few months the weight has been creeping on and I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish and fed up with myself. I’m crap at dieting, I love my food too much, so if I’m going to lose weight the only thing that really works for me is exercise!

So, 5 weeks tomorrow I am taking part in a 12 mile obstacle course, Tough Mudder. I’m excited and slightly terrified at the same time. The furthest I’ve ever run is a 10km race which was a couple of months before I got pregnant with O. Β The distance alone is a worry but throw in the obstacles (Sewage Outlet, Arctic Enema and Ladder To Hell to name just a few) and a whole lot of mud and I’m starting to think I’ve gone a little bit crazy!

I’m not concerned about times, it will be a huge achievement for me just to finish. The training has been going well (if we ignore the time I nearly cried in one session) and luckily I am part of a team so there will be some friendly faces helping me along the way.

Hubby is coming along to meet me at the finishing line with my little man and I know I’ll be so excited to see their faces. Oh, and I’ve been promised a slap up meal out and a fancy massage when I’m done. I think I’ll have earned them!

The Reading Residence


  1. Notmyyearoff
    August 8, 2014 / 7:38 am

    Ohhhh Tough Mudder! Two of my friends have done this and it genuinely looks tough. It’s an amazing looking challenge though and everyone says they really enjoy it!
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Eid, Birthdays and WeddingsMy Profile

    • August 8, 2014 / 10:36 am

      One of the girls I’ve been training with did it last week and loved it so hoping I do enjoy it. I’ll enjoy the glass of wine in the pub after πŸ™‚ xx
      Not A Frumpy Mum recently posted…Challenging {The Prompt}My Profile

  2. pottymouthedmummy
    August 8, 2014 / 7:42 am

    Oh my word that is definitely a challenge, well done you lovely!

    I remember being in sixth form and being surrounded by so many people who would simply shrug and not be bothered. They were also the ones wailing after results day as they hadn’t gotten into their preferred university. I think as amazing as teachers can be, and I am absolutely certain you are too, sometimes people just don’t want to work hard at things. I know we all have our own moments, but they are simply people who don’t have that desire to work at anything. And we cannot change that.

    Lovely post xxx
    pottymouthedmummy recently posted…Challenging | My Work LifeMy Profile

    • August 8, 2014 / 10:39 am

      Your so right Sian, you’ll get that everywhere. I know teachers who do just enough to get by so it’s inevitable some kids will be the same. But like you say, they wonder on results day why they haven’t got the grades they wanted! xx
      Not A Frumpy Mum recently posted…Challenging {The Prompt}My Profile

  3. August 8, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    All the best with your challenge! πŸ™‚
    Some teenagers have no go in them these days…minds are too full of social media!! *snorts*
    We should all do things that take us out of our comfort zones…it makes us feel alive and the feeling of accomplishment is well worth it.
    Nice post. X
    mummyshambles recently posted…The ChallengeMy Profile

  4. Leigh Kendall
    August 8, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    Wow, Tough Mudder! Well done for even considering doing that, I’ve heard it’s quite a challenge.

    As for the teenagers…it’s often not considered ‘cool’ (if they even use that word anymore) to try. It’s a shame. Love the idea of teaching them to knit πŸ™‚ xx #ThePrompt
    Leigh Kendall recently posted…A Challenging YearMy Profile

  5. August 8, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    Oh wow, that does look a challenge! Well done for going for it and I look forward to reading about it. It is worrying how easily people can give up, and we certainly don’t want a whole generation like that, or we will be in trouble! Tough to know the answer, though. Good luck with Tough Mudder and thanks for sharing with #WotW x

  6. August 8, 2014 / 4:39 pm

    Now that does sound like a challenge! All the best and hope it all goes to plan. #wotw #theprompt
    VaiChin @Rambling Through Parenthood recently posted…DIYMy Profile

  7. August 8, 2014 / 5:37 pm

    I can imagine it would be really frustrating to deal with attitudes like that in the classroom! I hope you manage to find a way to help them be brave and rise to a challenge rather than running away. I hope the Tough Muddler goes well for you too. #theprompt
    Maddy@writingbubble recently posted…challengeMy Profile

  8. Lou's Lake Views
    August 9, 2014 / 1:44 am

    Good luck with your tough mudder, that really does sound like a challenge!
    As a side note on your experiences as a teacher I just wanted to share my experience. My eldest son was really bright when he was little and did everything months or even years earlier than his peers, walking, talking, reading, maths all came naturally to him but when he hit about 12 he suddenly discovered things that didn’t come so naturally, he wasn’t equipped with the skills to learn something new and didn’t have a clue how to go about learning it. It wasn’t a case of CBA it was more shock that he couldn’t just do it without thinking. I couldn’t work out what to do about it as a parent but maybe you teachers can?
    Lou’s Lake Views recently posted…The Prompt – ChallengingMy Profile

  9. August 9, 2014 / 8:45 pm

    I understand your frustration. Then again, in my family, the one who had the biggest CBA attitude was my sister, who now has her Master’s degree. I put all my effort into hard work for school, was successful (I had the higher GPA of the two of us), but burned out right after high school and hΓ‘ve hardly been to college since. Now I have then undiagnosed autism, but what I mean to say is, kids may seem bright (I did) but struggle anyway, and kids who can’t be arsed, may eventually learn to put themselves up for a challenge.
    Astrid recently posted…(Mostly) Screenless #WotWMy Profile

  10. August 10, 2014 / 11:05 am

    You are right, as parents and adults we look down on the younger generations shirking away from the slightest challenge, but forget that we do too.

    I think the Tough Mudder sounds like a great challenge and a fun and positive way to get back into shape again. My advice is to totally omit the word ‘diet’ – in order to lose weight – from your vocabulary. The word itself and what it stands for when used in reference to weight loss is enough to send even the strongest willed people scuttling for the biscuit tin or heaping double portions onto their plates.

    The fitter you become again, the better you will eat naturally. Listen to your body and not the little voice in your head!

    It’s scarily great going into the unknown and I am sure that the twelve miles will fly by as you battle through the obstacles. I hope all goes well in your training and after completing the Tough Mudder, I am sure you’ll be looking for the next challenge!

    Popped over from #WotW.
    Debbie recently posted…My Word Of The Week Is…Enlightened!My Profile

  11. August 10, 2014 / 3:32 pm

    Wow, that is a challenge! Good for you taking it on, you will be so proud of yourself when you complete it πŸ™‚ I agree with Sian that some people will never be motivated, but I do think that teaching kids how to deal with failure is perhaps something that we parents are failing (!) at. No one likes to be wrong, and there is definitely a tendency in us all to stick with what we know. I don’t know the answer to this one, but it is something that I am very aware of with my kids. Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt and huge apologies for taking so long to comment, it’s been a very busy couple of days!
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…Silent Sunday: 10 August 2014My Profile

  12. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    August 11, 2014 / 10:57 am

    Wow go you! This is where I am not so okay as well. The weight side of life. I gave up on it. I said I will tackle it and when I cant fight the craving I raised the white flag and and my future of me going bigger and bigeer flashed before my eyes. I wish I can have your motivation. #wotw #theprompt
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…My Meatballs MonsterMy Profile

  13. August 13, 2014 / 10:00 pm

    Wow, go you! Good luck with your challenge.
    Maybe we need to reinforce that failure doesn’t end the world and it’s OK to feel sad when something doesn’t turn out the way we want it to (my turn to be a hypocrite – I’m scared of my own shadow!). x
    Chrissie recently posted…The aspiring writer and IMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge