Updated: Mar 17, 2019
“It is a practice, not a perfect.” This saying is common in the yoga world. Yoga is called a practice on purpose. In a practice, we are eternally learning and evolving. Perfection implies growth can no longer happen. The yoga practice is one of the few places where it is intentionally set up so that we are allowed to go against the push of society towards perfection and become in love with who we are in all of our glorious imperfection. We find that we can release ego and realize that there is only one of me, and why not try to be the best, most unique version of me there is. I am not going to try and be that other person who is standing upside down on one finger because that person is not me and thus, it is literally impossible for me to be that person or anyone else in the room. We can find a beautiful sense of compassion for ourselves and for those around us. We can find peace in the face of adversity and struggle. We can find joy and triumph for what others accomplish, even if we are not there yet. We can find a deep sense of gratitude for our entire self and that we have even gotten this far.
How often in our classrooms, in meetings or in professional development are we striving for perfection or given a way to maintain perfection? How often does the fear of not being the perfect teacher drive you to the point where you have spent all your time and energy on creating the perfect lesson? Yet, how often does all this energy we use affect our relationships, our drive to continue on, or cause us to react instead of interact or be present? What if we actually brought this idea of our work in the classroom as a practice and not a perfect with us every day, just as a yogi would to their mat? We may remember that there is no need to be perfect to inspire others. We may remember that it is how we deal with our imperfection that allows others to be inspired. To inspire the youth that sit in front of us is the reason we work as hard as we do and listen to all of those who have the “perfect” answer. What we can realize is that by relaxing the notions of perfection and all the preconceived notions of what perfection looks like and by being real and compassionate with ourselves, we not only gain freedom but we also teach and inspire our students to accept themselves and shed the idea of conformity.
The opportunity we may find in teaching is that we are always given a chance to reflect, amend, and re-teach that which we feel was not our best. It is inspiring that each day is a new day, moment, etc. Just as we give our students space to re-shape, (re-, un-) learn, and re-adjust, teachers too can recognize the gift of the re-do. When a lesson does not work, we pick ourselves up, maybe laugh at ourselves (it is important not to take ourselves too seriously), and try again. We recreate the moments in a positive more constructive manner, rather than re-live the agony of what was unsuccessful.
Our work at Transform-Ed is not to tell you how to be perfect and it is not to maintain the belief that perfection is the goal. Our work is to provide you with the tools and abilities to find who you are in the classroom and what that means for how your work and your inspiration manifests for these youth. We want to allow you to transform your space, your curriculum, and your work to align with what is your most valuable and unique self while still learning and evolving. Once you do that and allow space for your humanity, your classroom will be an experience unlike any other because there is no other like you. By allowing this type of diversity, every student’s needs will be fulfilled and met by the army of life-experienced, compassionate human beings (not human doings) that fill the classrooms of your school.