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  • Writer's pictureallisonjolester

Slaying the Perfectionism Dragon: Why and How to Keep It Out of Your Teacher Research Project

Hi again! I decided to write another post this week on perfectionism because this topic is one I personally face and also have had to help many a teacher-researcher through.

Grab your capes because today, we're going to take on a formidable foe, a beast that's been the undoing of many promising teacher research projects. The Perfectionism Dragon. But don't worry, I'll also equip you with a magical list of strategies to slay this beast.

Why Perfectionism Kills Good Projects We've all heard the saying "nobody's perfect," yet when it comes to our work, we somehow expect ourselves to be the exception. Perfectionism can seem like an admirable quality, like a sparkly unicorn, but in reality, it's more like a sneaky leprechaun that promises gold but leaves you chasing rainbows.

Here's the thing: perfectionism can strangle the creative life out of your research project. It can make you second guess every decision, scrutinize every detail, and ultimately stall your progress. It's like insisting on cleaning your kitchen while trying to whip up a soufflé. Spoiler alert: the soufflé will deflate, and you'll be left with egg on your face (and none in your soufflé).

Strategies to Send Perfectionism Packing But don't despair, intrepid educators! We've got some spicy strategies to keep that pesky perfectionism dragon at bay.

  1. The 'Good Enough' Mantra: Aim for "good enough," not perfect. Good enough is doable; it's achievable; it's human. "I'm working on a good enough teacher research project."

  2. Embrace the Beautiful Mess: Research is messy. It’s a Jackson Pollock painting, not a paint-by-numbers. Revel in the splashes and spills.

  3. Progress over Perfection: Celebrate every tiny step forward. Write it down. Stick it on your fridge. Tattoo it on your forehead (okay, maybe just use a sticky note).

  4. The BFF Test: If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, don't say it to yourself. Would you berate your BFF for not being perfect? No? Then don't do it to yourself!

  5. Outsource your Outrageous Expectations: Seek feedback early and often. Let others be your reality check when your perfectionism goggles get too rosy.

  6. Schedule Silliness: Make time for laughter and levity. It's hard to take yourself too seriously when you're having a giggle.

  7. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Every mistake is a chance to learn, and every stumble brings you a step closer to success.

So, dear teachers, let's bid farewell to perfectionism. Remember, we're not aiming for flawless, we're aiming for fascinating. We're not striving for immaculate, we're striving for insightful. So, slay that perfectionism dragon and let your teacher research project soar into the wild, wonderful skies of wonderful, whimsical, perfectly imperfect discovery.


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