The Fear of Mediocrity

The article linked below caught my eye last night. If you
throw “photography” and “educator” into the same title, it’s
likely to catch my attention.

The observation below, from within the article, caught my
eye and made me think of my own teaching practice. I have
always had a fear of mediocrity. The fear of hearing the
phrase, “Those that can do; those that can’t teach” has
driven my continuous improvement loop to avoid those words
being uttered in my presence, or said about me. Or worse
yet, to hear those words describe a program graduate.
Hearing the, “didn’t you teach them anything”, from that
crowd who claim that teaching is easy, was something I
always kept in the back of my mind to drive me from the dark
hole of mediocrity as well. Afterall, they give you the
books with all of the answers in the back what could it
take, eh? (-;

I have learned that learning is messy. And that it should
be. I’ve learned that telling is not teaching, that reading
all of the PowerPoint slides to a class is not an effective
tool for student learning. And I’ve learned that the real
learner wants to be engaged and included in a community of
learners…and the time spent to accommodate this is well
worth the investment. And I’ve learned that often the less I
talk the more they learn.

Over time I have also realized that there is so much more to
learning than just ticking off the boxes as the tasks are
completed. What did the learner really learn by doing the
task? Can they describe and reflect on their learning, and
what they actually learned? Can this be codified and tracked
by a mere multiple choice exam? Can they actually do the
work?

Remember that we are making an investment in people…the
learners who look to us to support their learning. I’d like
to hear comments on how you keep from accepting mediocrity.
What works for you?

Upon reflection I would say that my post title should state
“Accepting the Fear of Mediocrity”, but who would read that?
(-;

From: Is photography the best educator? I think so
and here’s why

“A lot of people are afraid to accept mediocrity because
they believe that if they accept it, they’ll never achieve
anything, never improve, and that their life won’t matter…
The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something
do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the
contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with
improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from
an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at
all…because they understand that they’re not already
great…they are mediocre, they are average…and that they
could be so much better.”

Sourced here on 04/24/17: http://www.diypho…tm_source=feedburner [diyphotography.net]

These things are helpful for me to reflect on personally, as
I continue to work my way, away, from mediocrity.