Teachers Know Progress Wins Over Holiday Perfection!

Perfection versus Making Progress
Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress. —Seth Goudin

Today’s freebie quote from the Teacher Peach designers at the PeachQuotes Studio is indeed a “perfect” reminder to keep in your line of vision during this busy time. Filled with often-unreasonable expectations, many of us push to achieve our own definitions of holiday perfection. It’s so easy to push too much and get lost in details that really end up not mattering so much at all. Between stunning pins, great articles, and other glimpses into holiday bliss and perfection, endless visions of perfect holiday festivities can cloud perspective.

The Pressure of Perfect
From crisp corners on every package to just the right sprinkles on every cookie baked and decorated, many holiday actions seem to drive towards “perfect.” Disappointment is often just one step behind. With all there is to do, getting the cookies baked at all can be a major feat. Shifting from perfect to progress, as this quote reminds, can reduce many pressures. By remembering that cookies truly do taste just as delicious without those perfectly placed fancy sprinkles—especially when decorating becomes a creative, team effort—pressure can shift to pride.

Perfect Holiday Standards
The moment a teacher’s school obligations end, the holiday ones rev up to max capacity. It’s easy to think there will be enough time to get it all done—that is, until the too-long holiday to-do lists keep growing longer still. To-do lists are much like lesson plans; they can easily reflect a determination that most teachers possess—to hit self-defined and extremely high (holiday) standards of perfection. If this tendency sounds familiar, why not catch yourself this year? This time is called Winter Break for a reason: everyone needs a break from hitting high standards all the time—especially teachers—who strive to meet and exceed high standards every day of the school year.

Pick Just Three “Perfects”
This year, why not apply your educational expertise to the holidays? How would you teach your students to tackle something in a new and better way? You’d coach your kids not to expect perfection and chances are, you’d reward progress instead. You deserve the same!

This year, consider trying a different holiday strategy. Instead of striving for perfection in every aspect of your holiday plans, choose just three things that really matter to you. These may be a special tradition, a new recipe, or creating an extremely special gift for someone equally special to you. If “doing the tree up right” holds a special importance to you, that’s an ideal place to spend your energy; then, take lots of pictures to capture the memory—and remind you of your successful outcome.

In each of your three chosen areas, work towards your personal definition of perfection—but do this just in those three important areas. As for the rest of the activities on your list, just as you’d do at school, aim for progress instead. Substitute gift bags for wrapping, trade cookies with friends, or create an assembly line even if it means gift tags are crooked and corners aren’t folded with military precision. You just might discover a few new traditions, teach your kids how to wrap, and make a new memory or two. Now, that’s progress!

Teacher Peach is a great place to exchange ideas with other teachers, so if you have suggestions for ways to focus on progress during the holidays, please share them here. Enjoy your Winter Break. Savor the progress—and the not-so-perfect sprinkles!

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