Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Voltaire
I have been struggling with this post. The initial prompt was a meeting with a colleague:
He was doing a great project using iPads and ExplainEverything. It was his first journey into using iPads in the Classroom and he seemed really excited about the project. Even more importantly he felt that that pupils really learnt from the exercise. So I asked him to share some of the videos as I love to see pupils work, this is where he got twitchy. He would share but only if he found a really good example, a perfect example.
It got me thinking can I share without it being the best possible example? Does striving for perfection reducing my creativity?
I ask my pupils to take risks and to experiment with something that they may fail at. I encourage them to develop beyond their original ideas to try new techniques. In fact I feel this is an essential part of my role as a teacher and a design teacher. After all testing is a massive part of the Design Cycle. It uses failure to inform the next iteration.
So I fail at things all the time, that is a common aspect in my life.
A great example would be drumming – I am not a natural musician but lucky everyone else in the HS Staff band are and they allow me to drum with them. It is such a pleasure but there has been a lot of failure and I get really annoyed at myself. Ole is always telling me to relax and enjoy myself, that perfection is not required just fun!
However, I give myself a hard time every time I fail. Why do I find this so hard? Why do I struggle to give myself a break and embrace failure?
I read this post recently:
“I love failure because that’s where the real lessons are. That’s where the learning is. That’s where the magic happens! The edge of where something no longer works is where the first combustion engine came to life, the first iPod booted. A million failures are happening in Virtual and Augmented Reality developments right now – grinding away to again change the world.” Clint Carlson
Loving failure, loving failure that would be a great goal. I am nowhere near this. I take calculated risks – dancing on stage, drumming, using new software, travelling to unknown places…..however I have confidence that I can tackle any issue. However, to take risks that are less calculated and that can lead to failure…that is harder. To be able to fail it seems you must have confidence that you can succeed…surprisingly!
“You’re doing it wrong”
But at least you’re doing it.
Once you’re doing it, you have a chance to do it better.
Waiting for perfect means not starting. Seth Godin
So out there lets take some more risks – trying more lessons that might not go as planned, speaking more languages even though failure is guaranteed, climb a mountain, do things that might scare you (within reason obviously), leave the last bean….or maybe not as it looks so lonely there!