I am always inspired when I read this quote by personal trainer, author, and TV personality, Jillian Michaels. By taking ‘perfection‘ out of the equation, the goal I am aiming for suddenly becomes doable for me. She is telling us that it will take work and that we need to stay focused, to be consistent, and to keep our eye on the prize every day — continuous effort breeds results. This isn’t just about fitness; this can be true for anything.
How does that apply to implementing educational technologies in the classroom? Well, Dr. Ruth Okoye, Director of K12 Initiatives for The Source for Learning, was sharing with me the other day that when she was a teacher-coach and asked a teacher to use technology she worked very hard to help the teacher understand that it was about taking a first step with an activity that was instructionally sound, not about hitting a home run the first time…not about perfection but about effort. As teachers, we need to stretch our students AND ourselves constantly. We need to create a safe environment of inquiry, one that allows for mistakes. As you are building new skills and, ultimately, your own confidence, leave perfection out of it…especially the first time. Apply consistent and concerted effort and, eventually, you will become adept at what you are trying to do. Try it. Reflect on it. Tweak it. Try it again.
Many folks have seen this quote before. However, I think the three sentences that precede this quote provide insightful context. Ms. Michaels’ states, “Transformation is not a future event. It is a present activity. That is why you must bring everything that you have to give in every moment.” We often succumb to the faulty thinking that change happens some time in the future. While that sounds good in theory, life doesn’t work like that. We need to assess, set goals, create a plan, and GET STARTED TODAY.