It has been said that practice makes perfect. I tend agree, though I once heard from a music teacher that “perfect practice makes perfect”.
I think both are true depending on the circumstance. In music, it is possible to reach some level of perfection. One can perfectly play the notes written on a piece of music. Thankfully, most of the time, in life perfection is rarely achieved, and many times not always a good goal.
I think excellence and improvement are noble (and more achievable) goals. What I enjoy about teaching is the ability to start over and try again to improve and refine the art of teaching. Here are a few examples of starting over.
- Daily– Each new day is…well…new. Start over fresh. That is easier said than done many times, but not a bad goal. No matter how much we struggle, no matter how difficult our students can be, we get to try again the next day!
- Weekly– Each week offers a new set of lesson plans. Another chance to try something new in the class. The weekend can offer us a chance to recharge. And a chance to catch up some of the work we didn’t have time for during the week 🙂
- Yearly– This is one of the great, and perhaps necessary, things about teaching. No matter what kind of year you have had, you get to take what you’ve learned/survived and try it again the next year, with a new set of students and a new set of skills and tools.
Give yourself a little grace (or a lot-depending on the day/week/year you are having). You will not likely be perfect. But you can always learn and improve. Keep moving forward and enjoy the restart.