One of the students that I work with in my school position has been working to learn to tie his shoes since last spring. His mom worked with him all during the summer, but was unable to get past the first step of making the knot. His para-professional aide decided that she was going to get him to the point of tying his shoes this year. Prior to starting school last week she bought a package of “shoestring” licorice to use for practicing. She told him that when he was able to tie the licorice he could eat it. He practiced all last week and on Monday he finally was able to tie to licorice and even managed to tie one of his shoes very loosely. He was able to eat his licorice. On Tuesday I received an e-mail from the para-pro stating that he had mastered tying his shoes and they wrote a note home to mom telling her about his success. As of today he was noticing each time his shoes were untied and was quickly tying them on his own. Wow, what a little licorice will do!

How many times in life do we encounter “shoelaces” in life where we need to practice and practice until we are able to master the task. Sometimes our need for lots of practice is the difficulty of the task, or our feelings of incompetence or sometimes it’s just that we haven’t found the right motivator. Whatever the reason for the practice with perseverance we can master new tasks especially if we have patient guides who are willing to build our confidence and seek the best motivator.

Here’s to all the “shoelaces” to come!

Talk to you soon,

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