One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.
— Viggo Mortensen
I am fortunate in being able to say that I know myself fairly well. I have a moderate amount of teaching experience under my belt, enough to feel comfortable in front of students (especially when teaching a lesson I’m stoked about), but cautious enough to know that there is no such thing as too much preparation. Knowing this, I’m forced to acknowledge a hard truth: my time-managment skills kind of suck. It’s not that I don’t know when things are due, or that I put things off until the last minute… I just get overwhelmed sometimes to a point of not being able to function as well as I’d like. This isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, and it’s a character flaw I’ve struggled with for some time now.
So what does this mean for me as a baby art teacher? One, when you’re responsible for a class and for hundreds of students, dropping the ball isn’t really an option. So much of your time is spent brainstorming, planning, and troubleshooting. If any stage in these processes is neglected, you will feel the pain of your mistake for quite sometime as you struggle to catch up and get ahold of your classroom… unit… semester.
In knowing this about myself, I feel an exorbitant amount of pressure not to let my students, myself, my professors, my cooperating teacher, and my colleagues down. I push myself very hard… sometimes too hard in the endeavor to be “good enough.” I recognize that this pressure is a large part of my problem. In order to get a better grip on the situation, I know I have to let go as well. I need to let go of the ridiculous standards I expect myself to uphold and recognize that I’m a human being, I’m going to make mistakes just as much… well hopefully less often, than I succeed. It’s just how we learn. In letting go, hopefully I’ll be letting go of some of the overwhelming stress as well, benefiting everyone in the long run.