You’re Not As Good As You Think You Should Be

Why would an educator make a statement like this? Especially one who proclaims to be positive and has even written a post or two on the subject.

Because I am tired of beating myself up and watching others do the same. We are causing ourselves too much stress by basing our self-worth on best moments. And we are doing the same to our students. And we must stop!

Our goal should be to create highlight reels. The kind that you see on SportsCenter.

That are 30 seconds long.


espn higlight reel

Do we think Beyonce’ always looks the way she does? Does Lebron make every shot? Is everything that Todd Whitaker writes and says awesome? Well, quite possibly the latter is true, but you get the point. Oftentimes we are witnessing people’s best moments and yet we are constantly measuring ourselves against them. It is okay for us to strive for these moments, but it is not okay to constantly measure ourselves against them.

measuring stick

What we view on television or see in magazines are moments and images that may have taken hours or years to create. But we forget this. They are moments and yet they become still frames ingrained in our minds.

We know that many people strive to look like the photos they see in magazines or the images they see on tv. But what happens when they don’t? Their self-esteem becomes damaged and they begin to think less of themselves.


I even believe that Twitter and a PLN can have a negative effect on us if we are not careful. My PLN is phenomenal and the people who I am fortunate enough to be connected with inspire me each and every day. Yet, there are times when I read about what folks are doing and I think to myself

“Wow, I’m not accomplishing anything even comparable to that”


“I don’t even know what that is and she’s using it in her school every day!”

I must continue to use my PLN for inspiration, not self-evaluation.

The same goes for our students. We spend more time pointing out and remediating our students’ weaknesses than we do celebrating their strengths. I think this is a huge mistake and actually wrote a short piece about this several years ago titled Celebrate the One.

report card

“Don’t confront me with my failures;

I had not forgotten them.” Jackson Browne


What stands out about the report card above? The F.

What should stand out? The 7 A’s!

So there you have it. Start today. Start now. Aim high and dream big. But remember you are only creating a highlight reel, not an entire show! Ease up on yourself. You are not as good as you think you should be. And that’s okay, because I bet you’re pretty damn good!




  1. Dear Jon, Wonderful post. This is why I always try to blog about the good and the bad. If I only blogged about the amazing things , I would not be honest about what really happens in my room day in and day out. Yes, there are times we soar but there are also times we fail. I have learned to stop comparing myself to others, especially those that get to do amazing things. I have my own life, my own path, and I am happy with what I do, however, sometimes, it is hard to not compare. We are all human after all.

  2. Thanks, Jon. I was listing things I needed to do today before I could write my own blog post and, a little tongue-in-cheek (but seriously, too), I actually listed, “ridicule myself.” That was the punctuation on my list, how I felt about how I was handling my tasks. You’re right, we hold ourselves up against others’ best moments, and we should stop.

  3. Very well said Jon. You brought up an excellent point about twitter. I learned long ago that twitter is a wonderful tool, BUT it is brief. Sometimes you see an individuals “best” when they keep it short and sweet…then you talk to them face2face and it is different.

    When I first began my “connected” journey I often felt mediocre. Fortunately for me it was a strong motivator to improve. Looking back it was crucial that I had a growth mindset and decent self-esteem.

    What I would share with people is this, be yourself. Strive to be better than YOU were the previous day. Aim to learn and grow at your own pace. If you take this on I’m confident you will be pleased with the outcome.

    Finally, from a guy that enjoys Sportscenter, I ask the question, what will your highlight reel look like?

    Thanks for the post and for making me think. Keep adding to your highlight reel Jon!


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