“Progress not perfection”

This phrase is on a poster at my gym and it has given me much food for thought. The first is that I should not take it personally as an observation of my efforts at the gym! More importantly I think it is a valuable lesson to us all that while we should strive for excellence this should not come at a cost to our personal wellbeing. Perfection is an ideal – the perfect note, speech or performance may be unattainable but progress towards this goal is still worthwhile.

This is particularly relevant at this time of the year as students reflect on their progress and articulate the short term and long term goals for the year during Student Led Conferences. Their e-asTTle scores are available and these will form the basis for the progress they will show in reading and Mathematics through the year. A key message to everyone at the school is that we analyse this data very closely, not only to assess individual and collective progress but also to evaluate the impact of our teaching.

Another phrase which is relevant to goal setting is that we learn more from our mistakes or failures than our successes. So set the bar high, strive for excellence but keep a balance and acknowledge that if we don’t quite make it there is nobility in making the effort.

Growing greatness – kia mana ake