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Re: [teacherartexchange] debilitating perfectionism


From: Susan Bennett (seasideblueviolet_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jul 09 2006 - 14:10:59 PDT

I deal with this road block daily. I love to paint and
draw and will do anything I can to hate what I do and
have a mental block about what I want to do. When I
get past the block I keep growing. I could relate to
the question about teaching something you are not
perfect at doing, like the ceramic discussion.
Several years ago, my art boss asked me to teach high
school in the afternoon and keep my grade school
darlings in the morning.
At first I said no I could never, and then I kept
thinking and praying about could I do that. Of course
it was thrilling, terrifying , and everyother type of
emotion I could come up with. But litterally on a wing
and a (more like lots of)prayer I keep one step ahead
of those high school kids. Sometimes not even ahead,
I often learn from them, but I can still guide them
with artistic choices. But the best thing for me
personally is how it made me go back and do what I
love which had fallen by the wayside! It is never
perfect enough though! So I suffer the same thing the
kids suffer! But it is getting better.
Susan in Ohio

--- Woody Duncan <> wrote:

> On Jul 7, 2006, at 6:01 AM, Elizabeth Heisey wrote:
> > Have we already talked about perfectionism? I hate
> > perfectionism and what it does to students
> sometimes.
> > Wikipedia says perfectionism is an 'unhealthy
> belief
> > that anything less than perfect is unacceptable.'
> I believe it largely sets in about the 8th grade. At
> that point
> many students begin to realize what perfect is and
> they
> know they can not create it. So, they shut down and
> will
> quit attempting to produce and grow. Most of our
> educational system give tests or scores work with
> the
> desired end of 100 %. Seldom do students get marks
> based upon growth from where they started. So they
> treat art this way as well, if I can't do anything
> near perfect I won't
> even try. We (art teachers) can't cure/change the
> whole
> educational system. So we must deal with the road
> block
> in students heads the best we can.
> A productive discussion should be around how many of
> us have dealt with this road block.
> Woody
> Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
> 35 Quality Middle School Art Lessons
> in powerpoint format, on one CD $17 (includes
> shipping)
> Ordering Address: PO Box 91703
> Albuquerque, NM 87199-1703
> ?The function of the overwhelming majority of your
> artwork
> is simply to teach you how to make the small
> fraction
> of your artwork that soars.? from: ?Art
> & Fear?
> Woody's Watercolor Portfolio:
> Newest Fantastic Triplet Pics:
> My newest watercolors:
> ---
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