December 4, 2011

Guitar Lesson 9: Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough

This post was last updated on 9 months ago at 9 months ago

I promise I won’t endure you to any more of my playing. In some ways it’s hard to see much project. I think I put in close to 50 hours. I do like the fact that I now can pick up a guitar and make sounds that are not completely random. I know there are many out there who have a loose relationship with a guitar and desire to step up their playing but for many reasons don’t. As a golfer, I know I could do better but actually am quite satisfied with my level of play in that I have no intention of doing anything special to improve other than continuing to play the game. I realize that in order to really improve, I’ll need to take lessons and spend lots of time practicing but I’m not prepared to do that and that’s okay. 

Kind of reminds me of lots of learning we do. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Say that in schools and someone is bound to scream “Blasphemy!” Shouldn’t we always ask our students to excel, to do their best, to aim high? I don’t think so. Some of you are reading that right now in horror. I don’t think it’s that bad. Not every learning is about passion. I’m not passionate about guitar. I like it. I’m glad I learned something about it and will continue to play but for right now, it’s good enough. We need to give ourselves permission to tell that to kids sometimes. Not every assignment, every subject needs to involve what we call “their best”. For teachers, “their best” is simply about giving it more time. I gave as much time as I wanted to this project. With the time I had I explored many ways to learn. I acknowledge in many episodes I may not have chosen the best, most efficient path to learning. But I was okay with that. That’s part of learning too. I think when we ask students to do their best we ought to qualify that to reference time. With the time we have we don’t want to waste it but in many cases, teachers are upset because students didn’t give something more time. Consider that our students’ time and attention is being sought from at least 5 different teachers/subjects, not to mention extracurricular and interests and duties outside of school. 

We all make choices of how and where we’ll give our attention. Instead of lamenting about not giving something more time, perhaps we need to accept that sometimes good enough is good enough. And perhaps we need to give our students license to do so as well. 

So with that here’s the last episode. It’s good enough.