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Perfect is the Enemy of Good

"Perfect is the enemy of good".  It's a quote I heard years ago, and I truly understand it, as I am the queen of perfectionism.  No one is harder on herself than I am.  I like things to be "just so". 

What's wrong with that?  Well, nothing is ever really perfect, so therefore, I'm constantly disappointed in myself.  When you're aiming to be perfect, you'll always be disappointed in yourself.

I worked in my classroom all week.  We couldn't get in until Monday, and we had to leave early on Friday.  We have meetings all day on Monday, so we won't get any time in there Monday before we have company at the Open House on Monday night.

I did manage to clean the stuff off the desks, but there's a lot I didn't do!
I got a couple of bulletin boards up.   I picked up most of the clutter.  I have all the math materials arranged for the first day.  I sorted the individual supplies. I put down my mat in the large group area. I got most of my signs up.  I ran off almost everything I'll need for Open House.  I washed off the desks before I left today.

I really did a lot this week.  I pretty much burned the candle at both ends, preparing signs, cutting out laminated stuff, writing out letters and forms and materials I'll be needing. 

But all I can focus on is all that I didn't do:  label the individual supplies, arrange the beanies, put nametags on desks, assemble homework folders, schoolwork folders, and writing folders.  I still have an empty bulletin board and I haven't put up my favorite poster. And I still haven't planned for the first day of school!

Perfect is the enemy of good.  My room looks good.  I have to take time to breathe.  I have a great Power Point planned for the Open House.  My room is clean, and I'll get the nametags cut out and placed on the desks by the Open House.  That's what the kids really want to see.  (Plus, which friends are in the class!)

I need to learn to work faster.  I need to learn not to spend so much time on details that don't matter, like those home made desk name tags.  I need to learn to be proud of my accomplishments.  I have a lot to learn!

After all, practice makes perfect.  (Perfect?  <shudder>)

But I sure am proud of my class Library!


  1. Sally,
    If everyone was perfect life would be boring! The excitement of a new teacher, new friendships, new classroom,and new year will be what your students see when they enter your classroom! I bet you have never heard "hey my supplies aren't labeled!" You offer more than perfect, a new beginning! Happy new school year!

  2. You are so right. It's easy to spend too much time on the details (maybe because they are more fun for us) than to get the big picture finished. I spent 12 hours at school every day this week...I can't live like that forever! I've got to focus on the "need to do" and not the "want to do."


  3. I agree! As long as the major things are done, don't sweat the details! They all seem to fall into place somehow, anyway!
    Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures

  4. This is so true. Thanks for sharing. Now how did you have the time to post? :)

  5. Thanks for posting this. It is so helpful to know I'm not the only one who does this type of stuff. So what if I had 20 math books handed in today and no names on 19 of them? We survived. I thank God I'm learning to be more laid back about some of this stuff, and meanwhile it's back to the grind, since I'd like to hit the sack sometime before midnight tonight!

  6. Thank you! I really needed to be reminded of that. I moved classrooms and have been stressing out over getting everything done for Thursday's Open House as I still have boxes and boxes that are unopened. I've decided to hide the clutter, finish my nametags and curriculum packet and call it good enough so I can enjoy my son's open house tonight without worrying that I should go back to school afterwards to finish up the details.

    I'm mostly proud of my library also! Maybe the two daysI spent on it was going a bit overboard, but it looks pretty good, even though I still need to separate my chapter books into genres. Maybe some kids can do that later!


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