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It's Easy!...For Me: A Paradigm Shift

We've all heard the echo across the room when a student starts to understand a topic - "that's easy!"

When I first started teaching, I was excited to hear this. I thought - yes, I was able to teach this idea/concept/lesson and my students were getting it. But something felt a bit off.

It wasn't always easy - at least not for everyone.

Sometimes things aren't easy. Sometimes they're hard.

Isn't that why we all go to school anyway? To learn new things? Not everything is supposed to be easy.

And when it is easy, it's up to that person to help those around them. Help others see how it can be easy for them too.

But it's not always easy for everyone from the start.

Our brain grows when we're challenged.

But if something is easy for you, that's great! - for you.

Here's where the mindset shift takes place. When we add "for me" to the end of "that's easy."

Let's take one student in two different scenarios:

A student, Charlie, sitting in the back of their math class is confused out of their mind. Their peer, Justin, understands the concept on the board:


Justin shouts out "that's easy!"

The teacher responds, "Great! See, it's easy!"

How is confused Charlie in the back feeling? Less confused because Justin up in the front get's it? Good for him.

And it is good for Justin, but it's not so good for Charlie sitting in the back.


Justin shouts out "that's easy!"

The teacher redirects, "Easy for you! Great, now let's see how we can help make it easy for everyone!"

How is confused Charlie in the back feeling? Validated? Seen? Still confused but not alone?

Justin gets it, and he's proud of himself, and he should be! Now that something is easy for Justin, he can help his peers.

It took a few weeks of me adding "for you" or "for me" to the end of hearing "that's easy" for students to pick up on the shift.

As soon as they did, this language shift became a paradigm of sorts in my classroom.

Students started using the language themselves. That's easy for me. Or upon hearing a peer share "that's easy," they would add for each other, "... for you"

This helped our students who were struggling or just weren't fully comprehending a concept yet to realize that everyone is on their own journey of learning. Some things might come easier to others at one point and easier to you at other points.

In my math classroom, I would say that each of us is on our own math journey. Use this as you will for any subject you teach. We are all on our own learning journey.



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