Perfectly okay

I’ve always wanted to be perfect: the best I can possibly be, an aspiration many

have. However, it wasn’t until more recently that I’ve discovered perfection is an

ideology, an unattainable concept that can lead to the realisation that we are

anything but perfect and actually that’s okay.

When I look back on my time as an NQT I realise I was seeking approval

constantly, much to the dismay of my colleagues. I questioned everything:

Should I? Shouldn’t I? What about this? Or that? Would it be better if? Even

worse, once I made a decision I then doubted it and more often than not ended

 up back where I started. I found myself caught up in a vicious cycle. I was

exhausted, fell short of my expectations and ended up questioning my very ability

 to teach.

This was not the first time I found myself experiencing these thoughts and feeling

s. I was in a similar position when starting my PGCE. Again I found myself nearly

giving up on my ambition because I was too afraid to fail. It is only now that I am

beginning to see this journey has always been part and parcel of starting

something new. 

 Whilst the kind words from colleagues, friends and children still provide me with

the reassurance I need, they only do so for a short time before I need my next fix.

 Ultimately, this belief has to come from within, and it is…slowly.

After months of ‘having a word with myself’ and settling into my role as a teacher,

I still have these doubts! However, they are fleeting. I’m not saying my inner critic

is not present. Sometimes that voice screams and shouts louder than ever. But I

am learning how to bat it back, quieten it and dare I say, even silence it when

needed. For now I’ve realised that one day the women I work alongside and

aspire to be like could be me. More importantly I want it to be me. One day.

Author Profile

Emily Hart

Emily Hart

Year 3 teacher at Humberstone Junior Academy

1 story


Mollie Boden Mollie Boden @missboden 8 months ago
You are perfectly amazing and I am so proud of you for talking so openly and honestly! You have come further that even you realise and being by your side to watch you grow is lovely :) You are brilliant! Xx
Annemarie  Williams Annemarie Williams @awilliams 8 months ago
@ehart I have watched you grow into a talented professional and as a confident young women in the last 2 years. I hope you realise that chasing perfection is like chasing rainbow - none of us will ever get there. In talking openly about the challenges of your professional development you have shown what a strong and authentic voice you have and how far along the leadership path (because all of us are leaders) you have come. Keep taming the chimp and modelling that self compassion Emily.
Preeti Natha Preeti Natha @preeti 8 months ago
I remember the first time I met you and it was screamingly prevalent what a wonderfully kind, organised & natural teacher you were. You are fabulous...Keep growing from strength to strength and remember to be kind to yourself.
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 8 months ago
Really like this, Emily. Recognising that perfectionist tendency and being determined to resist it is a crucial first step. Striving to be the best you can IS OK, I think, as long as you recognise that this doesn't mean being perfect, and you're committed to being kind to yourself, especially when things don't work out quite as you hoped.

Very best wishes on your ongoing journey!
Ronnie Richardson Ronnie Richardson @mrsrichardson 8 months ago
Emily I remember your doubting days and the questions but even then I knew they came from the best place with the best of intentions - to be the best teacher you could be. It is great to see you continue to grow both as a teacher and a person this year. #team3forever
Rob Mold Rob Mold @robmold 8 months ago
I'm so impressed by your ability to reflect honestly on the challenges and obstacles we set for ourselves - it's taken me years! Your desire to be the best teacher you can be and to give the children the best possible education has never been in doubt and I'm so glad you've realised the truth: you are a brilliant teacher! Squish that inner critic!
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