The whole adage” is “sometimes good enough is good enough and better than perfect, because it’s done.” I frequently tell my students this, because sometimes those kids hold themselves to the most unreasonable expectations. I’m not encouraging under achievement at all. I’m encouraging them to try and accept that it’s not going to be perfect or exactly right. While I do think we need to work towards mastery of a skill or topic, the key word is not “mastery” but “work.” The process is more important than the finished product because we learn from the process, not the end result.
Many of the life lessons I am trying teach my kids, I am trying to learn for myself. I give out a lot of advice; find balance between school and home, allow yourself to fail because failure is a great teacher, take time to do the things that make you, you. I strive to be a source of wisdom (somewhere between Uncle Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Grandma from Moana) for my kiddos, but I feel like the best thing I can do for them is to model the behavior. I tell them “I will be here for you, from the the hours that school is in session. I will get on for an hour in the evening, but not until I’ve made and eaten dinner, worked in my garden, and hung out with the chickens because it’s important to do ‘not school things.'” After that hour, they know I am doing “not school things,” because teaching is only one part of who I am, just like being a student is just one thing that they do.
Lately, I’ve undertaken making video content for YouTube. I really enjoy it, but let’s face it. The videos aren’t the best thing on the web. I acknowledge that. I’ve actually acknowledged that to my students. I tell them that reading and writing is like my YouTube channel. I can measure myself against the work of other content creators or I can measure myself against my own growth and see the progress there. Yes, I do watch other channels to see the art of the craft (like the mentor texts, kids), but I can’t be discouraged that my videos aren’t that caliber yet.
They are, however, good enough. They are finished and they are up and getting some views. They are, in my opinion as biased as it may be, better than they were when I started. I have learned new things. My most recent video has some really cool editing from multiple cameras, but I need to make sure that my camera is on each time I film, otherwise, I talk to a camera that isn’t recording, which happened when I was demonstrating how to grease and powder a Bundt pan. Now you know why that section of the video is so awkward. I’ve learned my kitchen IS not the best for cooking videos, but I will keep on keeping on. If I can figure it out here, then I can figure it out in any future kitchens.
Mostly I’ve learned that this is creative and learning new skills comes with challenges and that comes with missteps; it’s expected and it’s okay. I have a bumper sticker with the immortal Ms. Frizzle on it. It reads “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.” I allow that in my students. I need to allow it in me. Maybe I’m finally learning.