And if you want it, you can lean on me

bent pillar

I extemporized something in yesterday’s faculty meeting which I thought maybe I should write down. Use it if it’s useful.


For the last 3 years or so, most of my professional engagement has been in the form of online meetings. I am, if I do say so myself, pretty good at them. (Not great, but I know who the greats are and I learn from them.)

By Friday afternoon, I’ll have co-hosted (with my invaluable colleagues) 15 online workshops over 2 weeks for my faculty about moving to remote learning. I’m writing this between workshops 8 and 9.

I’d say the last one was pretty OK, and the one the morning before that was almost pretty OK. None have been up to my high standards.

And yet faculty members are coming back to workshop after workshop, and thanking me and telling me the workshops were helpful. At a time when they need connection and support, they’re getting it. What I’m giving is good enough.

And that’s what I want you to remember. You don’t have to be that good to be good enough. You’ll want to get better, and you’ll get a lot of practice and you will get better, and you’ll learn some tips and tricks which, in future when you actually get to plan in advance, will make you better still.

It’s gonna be frustrating, because you’re exceptionally good teachers and you’re going to see all the flaws. But give yourself – and your students – permission to be good enough.

Because it’s actually pretty good.


Photo: “Bent Pillar” by Bryan Alexander, CC-BY at https://flic.kr/p/2gVGyD7. I tried a couple of different searches on Flickr – “lean” and “good enough” first, and then “support”, and I decided this fits.

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