Student Belief: The Parable of Caleb the Frog

For years, a group of frogs hung around a mystic lake as they dreamed of climbing a wall they looked at on a daily basis. ‘How beautiful it would be to gaze down at this lake from the top of that wall’ they would all think to themselves.

Then one day Caleb the frog started climbing the wall, one hop at a time.

‘What is he doing?” the other frogs thought to themselves, until Caleb reached the top of the wall.

‘Woah, there is truly something different about that frog Caleb!’ the bullfrog Samson exclaimed. Samson’s wife gazed up at Caleb atop of the wall and muttered..

‘Yeah… he is deaf.’

Caleb the Frog and Student Motivation


Sometimes negative cycles of disbelief need to be broken through deaf ears. When students tell me ‘I am just not college-bound’ or ‘I am not meant to do big things’ I ask them when they started to believe that and why?

You see, the number one predictor of student success is not their academic ability, but rather a student’s belief in their ability to succeed. Students take action in accordance to what they believe (not hope) they can achieve, and for many teens that level of belief is often determined by their peers (unfortunately).

Many students, just like the other frogs, listen to their peers and decide whether they can or cannot do something based on that perceived truth

Will the Real Caleb the Frog Please Stand Up?!

You could say Roger Bannister was a real life Caleb the Frog. Before Bannister, nobody had run a sub 4-minute mile. After a history of nobody ever running a 4-minutes mile, John Landy ran an even faster mile that Bannister less than two months later.

Not everyone has the taken to run a 4-minute mile, but many do and will never do it.

So my question for your teen today is:

‘What lie are you believing that will prevent you from stepping into your true calling to do BIG things?’

Looking for a ways to combat this? Check out our followup blog on Developing Student Identity with steps on laying the foundation for student success.

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