For as long as I can remember I’ve had a ridiculously paralyzing fear of imperfection. I couldn’t do an art project in class because I didn’t want anyone to see it in progress. I can’t write anything if I think someone is going to walk up behind me and read as I type.
It’s ironic, then, that I became a teacher–something you really only learn to do well by doing it, and in a very public way. You try one approach and it fails miserably, so you tweak it and try it on the next class period, and it’s a bit better, and then you try it again. And again. And hope that eventually you figure it out.
Because teaching can’t be perfected in seclusion. Every activity I try that bombs, every word I mispronounce, every mistake I make–there is always someone watching as I stumble my way toward being the teacher I want to be. And not just students, either: Because I’m the teacher with a cart, there is always another adult to witness it.
And they’ve all been doing this so long they could do it in their sleep.
You could say it keeps me humble.
(And really glad for Friday.)