The Illusion of Perfection | 123Read&Write

An educational blog entry about nothing is perfectPerfection is an illusion.


As defined, to be perfect means having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. Well, that's great to know. However, life is nothing more than in a constant state of chaos, it's not a possible trait to possibly achieve. The sooner, as a teacher, an individual, a human being, that we accept that perfection is not a possibility, in the real world, the sooner we can have a sense of inner peace. My guess is that if you're a perfectionist, your life and inner self is rarely at peace. In fact, your life is probably filled with a sense of turmoil, because things are rarely or never as you had hoped. 

For example, from a teacher's perspective, perfection can lead to ruin and unfulfilled promise. Very few (if any) lesson plans go exactly as planned. There are too many variables to consider. With so many variables, something is bound to change the direction of your perceived perfection. Students may not pick up on a new concept as quickly as you had hoped. The lesson is interrupted by a fire drill. You get called away to a meeting right in the middle of instruction. You get a call from your child's school that your son or daughter is sick. The list is endless. Anything, at any moment, can and probably will go wrong, necessitating a change in plans. In teaching, I like to call this "punting". In football, when a team's offense doesn't execute the plays that look perfect on paper properly in the game, they are forced to punt and go about things a different way. Well, teaching is certainly no different. We have to be ready to "punt" and roll with the changes. By accepting that things will not be perfect, we can be content to change our strategy and not be completely bothered by it. 

To help in this matter, it's good to remind ourselves to be grateful for what we have. Lesson plans didn't go the way you planned? So what. Be grateful that you have a job you love, and that you have the opportunity to engage young minds. Try to live in the "now". Whatever the case may be, it's alright. Don't look back on how things went wrong, or look too far forward for expectations that may never happen. Nothing can or will be perfect . . . and that's just fine with me.