Thursday, November 4, 2021

No One is Perfect

In Effort from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin

“Perfectionism is a false hope and a place to hide. Effort, on the other hand, is our best chance to do work that matters.”

When my husband was a student, he spent so much time trying to make his work perfect that he was so stressed out. Instead of turning his work in early, he tended to submit his work at the last minute. It didn’t matter how much time he spent on his work, he never felt like it was good enough to turn in. While I commend him for wanting to put a lot of effort into his work, there is no such thing as perfect.

My parents were hard taskmasters and wanted my work to be perfect. I know they just wanted the best from me and the best for me but it led to many years where I felt I was never good enough. It took a lot of years before I realized that this was not what they wanted for me. Instead, they wanted me to try and do the best I could and not accept less if I knew I didn’t deserve it.

I want my students to put a lot of effort into their work but I don’t want them to be paralyzed with fear that something isn’t perfect.

I want them to know that not being perfect is okay as long as they put the effort into it. When they turn their work in, it will be evident how much effort was put into their final submission. Those who put little effort into it will be given the grade they deserve.

When my students first attend my class, I state that as long as they put the effort into their work, they will not fail my class! I want them to know that it is okay to make mistakes and not be perfect. Once this fear is put aside, they are more willing to try new things and take the risk of making a mistake.

I let my students know that as long as they put effort into their work, I will be there to support and help them when they face challenges. They are not in this learning process alone. At some point, we may be learning side by side. I want them to see learning as fun and if not fun, a challenge worth facing.

Once they accept that no one is perfect, they can be successful in the classroom. They become more confident and less fearful. This success in the classroom will help them be more successful in life.

How do you feel about mistakes in the classroom? Please share.

Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

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