Though I’ve purposefully avoided most news coverage for the past few weeks, I poked my head out of my little shell yesterday and was overwhelmed. I read an article about the current plan for schools reopening in Texas – students returning to buildings, remote lesson options, face masks, social distancing… Though I’m generally a glass-is-half-full person, I kept coming back to the same question, “How is that feasible?” I’m not judging. It’s a difficult situation with no easy answers, but the 20-21 school year will be challenging, to say the least.
So, I have a warning for all educators – and it is one of resignation. It is a lesson I feel guilty preaching about because it is one I have not well heeded. I take care in my work and like doing my best. I’m guessing many of you reading this can relate. As educators, we take our jobs seriously. And although it can be a good trait, perfectionism can also be debilitating.
I realized this when I was writing my books. My publisher warned me that the editing process could go on forever, but at some point, I’d have to say, “I’ve done what I can” and move on. Or as my friend warned me, “Don’t let ‘great’ be the enemy of ‘good’.”
Teachers, you will do a good job in the fall, but avoid the pitfall of spend 24-7 trying to make things even better. Your natural inclination will be to replicate what you know and are used to. That will probably not be feasible. Have high standards, but be flexible, as priorities will need to change given the pandemic.
I write this post now because all too soon the school year will be upon us. And as I have said on many occasions, our behaviors and practices sit upon our attitude and beliefs. So we need to adjust our mindsets now to one of positivity, openness and flexibility, resigned to the fact that we can’t do it all. By doing so, I’m certain it will have a positive impact on our own behaviors, as well as that of others, as we move into the fall semester.