welcome to the

opogo blog

5 ways to instill a ‘can do’ attitude in your students

Posted by Jo Lane on Friday, 1 March 2019
Jo Lane
Find me on:

Motivational quotes adorn the walls of many school corridors and classrooms across the country, but do pupils take any notice of these?

Should we stick to the basics and turn ‘I can’t do it’ into ‘I can do it’? In this blog we look at the steps to help your students develop a ‘can do’ attitude.

Step 1.
A ‘can do’ attitude is a result of a positive mindset, so start by reminding your students they ‘can do’ anything they set their mind to.

Step 2.
Ban the word ‘can’t’ from your classroom. Remove all other motivational quotes from the walls and inform pupils the word ‘can’t’ is banned from the classroom. Ask your pupils to monitor and ‘police’ the use of the word and turn this ban into a classroom challenge.

lightbulb (1)

Step 3.
Breaking down the impossible into small steps will result in small wins. Don’t forget to remind your pupils they are all ‘still winning’!!

Step 4.
Reinforce the fact that each student is an individual with personal goals and they should avoid comparing themselves with their peers.

Competition is healthy, but in this social media age young people are exposed to far too many ‘influencers’ which is leading to many of them feeling they aren’t pretty enough, muscly enough, rich enough….so let’s make sure they don’t feel like this in the classroom.

can't (1)

Step 5.
Evidence and results are vital to demonstrate how a positive mindset can impact on student success and achievements so produce a method to record these successes.

It could be in their books, a blog, on the wall of the classroom… be creative and ask them how they would like to record the impact of banning ‘can’t’ from the classroom.



About our Community Expert

JoLane_BlueCircle_CommunityExpert-1Jo Lane
Head of Careers at The Windsor Boys' School

Over 8 years of experience in educational settings including FE colleges and secondary schools. Prior to entering education she worked at the Financial Times in a sales and marketing role before deciding to embark on a career change.

Teaching business whilst completing her part-time PGCE at Greenwich University, she transferred her business skills into the classroom and these skills resulted in her providing students with a range of vocational learning experiences linked to the curriculum, including setting up businesses and creating a youth music festival for local performers.

Building on her experience of working in The City, she has established excellent links with local and national employers who provide valuable career opportunities for her pupils, including work experience, employability sessions and apprenticeships. She is motivated to provide pupils or all abilities with the opportunity to be successful in school and helping them secure the right path for their future career.

Topics: Student behaviour


Opogo is a community platform designed to help schools attract and retain the talent that’s right for them. Our social hub is packed with rich content from our community experts. And through our ever-evolving Smart Match technology, teachers can be booked for work simply and quickly.

Sign up for FREE