I am perfect…

I am perfect except for the confidence bordering on arrogance…and… the receding hairline meeting up with the growing bald spot…and…the competitive nature that leads to quick frustration…and…

As an educator I often find myself striving for perfection. When I had a classroom I tried to have all of the answers. For some reason when a student asked a question I thought it was my responsibility to have an answer. I saw it as a weakness to say “I don’t know.” I wanted my students to think I was the smartest person alive. This attitude also carried over into my professional relationships. I didn’t want any of my peers to notice my short-comings. What has become increasingly obvious to me though, is that there are some things I just cannot hide. Sometimes acknowledging my imperfections allows me to be closer to perfect than trying to hide them.

As we enter into a new calendar year, it is OK not to have everything worked out. It is OK to tell yourself that you do not have all of the answers. Do not cause yourself unnecessary stress by trying to be perfect but give yourself room to grow by admitting that somethings will just have to be worked out with time.

The fact that there is tomorrow gives us confidence that not everything has to be understood today. Live your life as though tomorrow is a reality. Do all you can today, but cut yourself enough slack so that tomorrow can still have purpose. If everything has to be made right today, then tomorrow has no relevance. Make every day count and give yourself room to grow, to reflect, to experiment, and to say “I don’t know.” It is not the appearance of wisdom that brings greatness, but instead the quest for greater understanding.

We all want our students to become life-long learners. This is only accomplished if they understand there is always more to learn. What can you do today to model that?

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