#DearTeachers: Let’s Be Brave Before Perfect. We Were Built for This.

Christina Torres

by | 05.5.20

Christina Torres is a teacher in Hawaii. Follow her on Twitter @biblio_phile.

None of us could have anticipated what we’re all going through right now. But here’s the truth: We were built to do this. 

Even in the best circumstances, teaching is hard. This work consistently calls on us to be flexible and responsive. Adaptability, resourcefulness, resilience – these are all skills we’ve already built as teachers and what we can tap into as we move forward, even if things aren’t perfect. 

My school keeps telling us “be brave over perfect” right now, and I love that sentiment. Sometimes we can feel attached to our routines – because routines are good. But this is one of those times where we need to scrap all of that and throw it out the window. This is a chance for us to be open with students, and just say, “Let’s try something new.”

I’ve never given lectures over video. I’ve never been unable to tell my kids, “OK, now turn and talk.” How am I going to recreate these learning experiences over Zoom or on a WebEx? I’m only going to find out by being willing to try things out, knowing they might not work. Yesterday, I was kicked off my own WebEx three times. But my students were champs. They stayed in the room. One of them even said, “We appreciate that you keep trying.”  

We often tell our kids to “keep trying,” but I don’t think we tell that to ourselves often enough. So I’m hoping you’ll join me in being brave enough to embrace imperfection. Let’s try things for our kids, and mess up in front of our kids, and then ask our kids for feedback and try again. Let’s tell ourselves to keep trying. Let’s remind ourselves that we have what we need at this moment. We’re teachers. We’re built for this. 

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