To say that I am a perfectionist would be a ginormous understatement. Lately, I have been thinking about how I am probably way too hard on myself.
For example, our state assessment results were awesome this year -- 97% of our junior class was proficient! While I was ecstatic about those results, I kept thinking about the one student in my math strategies class whose score actually decreased from the first time he took the test. I felt responsible for that student, and I felt like I had failed with him. Never mind that I did all that I could, and this student made some choices that were out of my control.
Second example, at the end of every school year I am always looking back over the year for what things I want to do differently in the future. This always results in a list that is way too long for one human to complete, because I end up thinking that almost everything I am doing could be a little better.
I don't think that I am alone. I have read plenty of blogs, written by amazing teachers, talking about how they suck and how this lesson or that one was crap. I know it is just their way of saying "I am frustrated, and that lesson didn't go the way I wanted", and they are being honest about what that feels like.
Obviously, there is nobody out there who has attained perfection. We all know that that we have strengths and weaknesses. We all have lessons that play out in less than perfect fashion.
So, here is a reminder to myself: I don't suck. Really. Also, I wouldn't allow my students to say that about themselves. So I should try not to say that either, right? I know that there is always someone who is doing something better than me. I learn from that person. I teach because I care about kids, and I want the best for them. I love the subjects I teach, and I am committed to continually learning. I love my job, and gosh darn it, I am good at what I do!