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I Can Solve That Problem…

I can do it!
I can do it!

I love teaching problem solving in the classroom. It’s authentic, rigorous, and often amazing to students. They think the first resource when at school is the teacher.


So I start in kindergarten and bang away at the same theme for the nine years I have them: You (dear student) are your best resource.

Here are some inspiring quotes from men who laugh at problems, shake their fist at adversity, revel at the idea that some consider a problem impossible to solve:

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

—Winston Churchill

In times like these, it is good to remember that there have always been times like these.

— Paul Harvey Broadcaster

Never try to solve all the problems at once — make them line up for you one-by-one.

— Richard Sloma

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well-informed just to be undecided about them.

— Laurence J. Peter

Life is a crisis – so what!

— Malcolm Bradbury

You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.

— Edwin Louis Cole

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

— Albert Einstein

The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong questions.

— Peter Drucker Men, Ideas & Politics

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

—Woody Allen

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

—Theodore Rubin

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain,” into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

—Richard Feynman

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

— Theodore Rubin

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

—Albert Einstein

There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.

—Harold Stephens

While average people are thinking negatively about problems, successful people view their problems positively. They love problems. They eat them for breakfast.


No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.


Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.

—Hugh Miller

Why? Because problems create value; the more problems you can solve, the more valuable you will be, the more money you will make, the more responsibility you will have.

—Brian Klemmer

It is not stress that kills us. It is effective adaptation to stress that allows us to live.

— George Vaillant

On the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon … to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics.

—Richard Feynman

More articles on problem solving:

25 Techie Problems Every Student Can Fix–Update

Weekend Website #115: Minecraft

Tech Tip #108: Three-click Rule

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, a columnist for, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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