I have a little less than a week left until the start of spring semester and I’ve found myself wondering where break went in the first place. And, in some weird way, I have felt sort of bitter/frustrated/etc. about what’s to come. I think all of this started when I missed one of the Ph.D. deadlines that I had hoped to apply to (well, I didn’t really miss it, I just couldn’t decided if my doctoral goals were best aligned with this program). And then trying to search around for teaching jobs. Not to mention looking forward to student teaching, yet still apprehensive because of the restrictive feeling I had from the fall’s field experience. Oh, and I’ll throw in researching/writing for my thesis capstone…the researching has gone great while the writing, well, let’s just say there is a thing called writer’s block.
Anyway, I was organizing my email (Wow, yes, I know. I told you I am compulsive with my organization!) and found a note warning me of my perfectionist ways. (This is perhaps, an extension of my pet peeve conversation…) See, I was told that the (teaching) profession devours perfectionists (referring to people like me) and that some teachers hold themselves to such high standards that they can not do it (it refers to teaching). Now, first let me say, I value ALL criticism and thoughts from those around me. I really do. I know some people don’t, but for me, I already think very critically about a lot of things so I appreciate the chance to see how others think as well. Especially because I think we all have very unique experiences that shapes our thoughts/ideas/etc. (a point that I will definitely emphasize in my own classroom!) Not to mention that when it comes to teaching, hey, I’m just entering this realm of education, so I definitely appreciate all the advice I can get! BUT when people tell me things like this, I realize that they really don’t understand me or what I’m about.
After all, I know that my problem with the profession will not be my desire, my focus, my ability to push myself because in the end if these were the problems, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today, and that’s the honest truth. I may not be a superwoman but hey, I can try. I cannot just sit back and NOT push myself (if that makes sense at all).
Yet in the midst of a chaotic and slowly disappearing break, I’m reminded of the little things that help show the story of what I’m about and who I am (and why I’m so FOCUSED!). In fact, at the start of fall semester, when we were asked one song that represented us, I said “Superwoman”. Listen to the lyrics and I think you’ll see why I felt this song helped tell others a bit about me.
Also, my mom sent me a text with a quote she found:
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Eliot
And with that, I’m reminded that even my quirky, overly ambitious, “perfectionist” self is ready to go. I thrive on that desire to make myself a better educator, researcher, student, and person (this list continues). And THAT is what I’m about.