I learned a new word today.  (See, students?  You aren’t the only ones learning!  Teacher does, too!)

The word is atelophobia, and it means an intense fear of imperfection, or not being good enough.  From what I read online, I think perhaps most teachers secretly struggle with this…but I can’t help but feel that my struggles are amplified by the fact that “I’m not a real teacher.” I struggle even though I know many “real teachers” who don’t care whether their students learn or not, who get there and get done and get out.  I struggle even though I spend hours online trying to figure out what, exactly, I’m doing, and how to do it better.  I struggle because some of my students still don’t know basic letter sounds, even though I’ve sat down with them one-on-one and tried everything I could think of to help them connect letter forms with letter sounds.  And yet, even so, deep within me, I worry constantly that it’s not good enough.  That I’m not good enough.

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