Wednesday, September 26, 2007

PD Sucks for Perfectionists

I am a big fan of professional development, and the improvement of one's craft, whatever that might be. If you're not learning something new, you might as well be dead. That's my thought, anyway.

However, as a perfectionist, professional development (PD for short) is a double-edged sword. Of course it is great for picking up new strategies and skills and helping me as an educator to become a more effective one. However, it is also excruciating for me as a perfectionist to hear all the things that I can be improving on, because then it drives me into over-drive mode as I try to revamp everything I am doing to incorporate all of these strategies immediately. After all, if I'm not doing it the most effective way now, why would I not change it immediately in light of new information, to become more effective? PD also evokes all kinds of guilty feelings as I reflect on how I didn't do something perfectly in the days and weeks leading up to this new training session.

Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, I know it's a process and nobody is perfect the first time round, and the important thing is to take what you've learned and try to incorporate it slowly to make positive changes to enhance current effectiveness in the classroom. I know the platitudes. However, the crazed perfectionist in me has a very hard time with the idea of slow incorporation and gradual improvement, because if you already have a new set of "tools" to work with, why would you introduce them slowly when you know full well that the end result would be better served by using the whole set right away?!

This may be why I am losing my hair. I am a stress bucket of obsessive-compulsive perfectionism.