Steve Heisler

Teacher Author Speaker


"Every single child wants to be successful. The problem is, if they can't be successful at being successful, they'll be successful at screwing up. Our job as educators is to change the latter to the former."    

- from the The Missing Link by Steve Heisler

The Road to Misery

Almost invariably when teaching, and in particular teaching professional adults, the main point of stress can be summed up in a single word: perfection. Somewhere along the way I have, as have so many others, gotten the idea that the more we drive ourselves to perfection to more we bring ourselves closer to excellence. What I have learned, and what I keep trying to teach others as well as myself, is that nothing could be further from the truth.

What I try to do, when it comes up, is virtual surgery in the classroom. With a thin, highly accurate tweezer, I reach into the brains of whomever is my student and pluck out the word perfection. Unfortunately sometimes it has deep roots: surgery is just too dangerous. In that case all I can do is get them to acknowledge that it's there and repeat, as necessary:

The road to perfection is the road to misery. The road to excellence is the road to excellence.

And excellence, my friends, is a journey worth taking.