Today I had a conversation with my teaching partner. Chatting about things we want to do with our students, what we want to do differently and what we want to improve on.
Self-reflection is crucial in education; I would go so far as to say it’s the most important skill an educator can have. There are always ways we can improve our practice. At BIT13 last year, there was a presentation with the perfect title: It’s alright to be where you are but it’s not alright to stay there. As educators, we are constantly trying to find more effective ways to do everything. Moving forward.
I’m wondering if constant reflection can be overwhelming. On Twitter, there’s a neverending feed of wonderful pedagogy. At school, just walking down the hallway and seeing others teach can be difficult. That critical little voice that says “I’m not doing that….am I a good teacher?”
Where is the line between self-reflection and self-judgment (and self-doubt)? Will I ever measure up? Do I have to measure up? It’s such a huge responsibility I’ve been trusted with. How can “good enough” be good enough?
Through this conversation with my teaching partner, this came to light: we can’t be all things to all people, and as long as we have set some specific goals to improve, that’s good. If we try to change/improve too many things at once, the progress is watered down, and we don’t see the successes clearly, if at all.
The crucial lesson: keep perspective. Do what you can, and don’t dwell on what you can’t.