Curbing perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? Do you want everything to be right the first time? Do you get angry or frustrated at yourself when a lesson or project doesn’t go as you anticipated? Well…STOP! I know, I know, it’s not that easy.  Being a perfectionist is the perfect blend of compulsion and anxiety.  It isn’t something that you can fix overnight.  However, it is a big ‘ol waste of time.

You see…you are in a profession that deals with people. You will teach lessons that suck. Sometimes your administrator will come in when you are trying to tame the circus.  A school tour may happen as your students are silently reading. Forgive yourself, and move on.  If others don’t forgive you, well, hold your chin up high and move on.

What becomes the most important part of teaching is learning to be kind to yourself. There are so many people out there waiting to catch you in a mistake. However, being real allows everyone to give you grace.  Apologize when you make a mistake and move on.

What strategies can you use help the process? Start working with good enough. Build layers of complexity to your lessons, rather than razzle dazzling every detail.  Focus on the areas that have the most return on investment. For instance, if your administrator is focused on reading this year, use your energy on that. Everything else will have to be “good enough”.  Pick 1-3 things that you are going to ROCK this year, and let certain subjects be good.

You are amazingly imperfect. It’s ok to be ok with it.

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