Do we have to be perfect to be good educators?

Is teaching an easy option? Six weeks off in the summer eh!? What about training adults – easy as they are all super motivated, right!?

In her article about working through her Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE teaching qualification) in the Times Educational Supplement, Angie Jenkinson writes about teaching being so much harder than she thought it might be: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6311683

Perfectionism in your facilitation?

She talks about preparing lessons for young children and her panic at not being good enough, “if this lesson doesn’t go absolutely, staggeringly, mindbogglingly perfectly, all these four-year-olds with their shining faces full of wonder – all of them without exception – will be unable to avoid dying in the gutter as dead-eyed, drug-addled sex workers”.

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This highlights exactly how perfectionist many of us in the education arena are. We can be idealistic, in wanting to provide the best opportunity for the future of four year olds at school, fourteen year olds in a deprived area or forty year olds in an office…

Are we all ‘people people’ and just want the best for others? Does the education arena draw people with a pathological need to please others? I know I want to please others, I know I love the appreciation when some kind of learning intervention goes well. I’m a bit ideological too, I want the world just be nicer to each other. But does this also mean we give ourselves a hard time, as Angie did?

Peaks and troughs of achievement

Angie writes at the end of her article “Every time my confidence or resolve dips, something happens to pick it up, whether it’s the moment someone small recognises the number 1, or can’t stop laughing heartily because reading is so brilliant, or is overwhelmed by a picture of a pond because there might be fish in it.”

We don’t need to be perfect to create a positive impact. We’re all learning too – about ourselves, others, our preferred subject areas and about learning.

It’s great to recognise that we as teachers, trainers and facilitators have our own lightbulb moments, in order to support others having theirs!

 

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