"Maybe it's in here."
As a teacher I like to try to teach my students more than academics when the opportunity arises. One thing I teach is “being resourceful”.
There are times when students come to class and might say something like, “I didn’t do this part of my homework because I didn’t know these two words in Spanish.” I think, “Aha, an opportunity to talk about being resourceful!” So, I respond with something like, “Well, I can understand that.” Then I say to everyone, “This is an opportunity to talk about what you can do in a situation like this and about something called ‘being resourceful’. Does anyone know what that means?”
The students begin looking around at each other wondering if anyone knows. Sometimes a student raises their hand and will give a correct answer. But, either way, we get into a discussion about what a person can do when, for example, they hit a roadblock with their homework.
So, I might then ask, “In the case when you don’t a word or two in Spanish, what can you do?” The hands begin going up.
One student says, “You could go on-line and check a dictionary.” “Yep!” I say.
Then I ask, “What if your computer is on the blink, and you can’t do that?”
Another students says, “You could check your Spanish/English dictionary.” “Yep!” I say.
Then I ask, “Or?”
Another students says, “You could get in touch with another student to see if they know.” “Yep!” I say.
And then I say, “That is being resourceful! It is taking the initiative to think about what you CAN do and then doing something. When you learn to be resourceful you find that you are capable of so much. You are not helpless. You are RESOURCEFUL!”
So, as the year plods on, and someone says something that indicates they were not being resourceful, I ask the class, “And what could you do in a situation like this?”
And they all answer (sometimes sheepishly), “Be resourceful!”
(PS - Let me comment, that I am always VERY careful NOT to embarrass students in these situations. It is SO important that students know you are on their side and want them to do well and know that you are a source of encouragement for them.)
(PPS - It's always great to acknowledge when they are being or have been resourceful with a "Way to go! How resourceful of you!")