At the start of the year, teachers have incredibly full plates — we’re talking marathoner-at-the-buffet-after-the-race full plates. We’re planning lessons, organizing rooms, learning names, figuring out new procedures, and more. But as academic disciple-makers, we must keep our goal — implementing biblically-integrated classes — in mind.
“But,” you might think,”I can’t really do it well because I am so overwhelmed!” Don’t worry; “If you want to do something well, the best way to start is by doing it poorly.”
That’s right. It’s okay not to be perfect and polished when you are getting started. That’s just part of the process. How did your first day of driver’s ed look? How did your first piano lesson sound? How was your first golf-swing? I bet there was room for improvement. And that is the point that I am trying to make.
Learning occurs in stages. In order to get to to step 2, you must take step one.
G.K. Chesterton, the noted author, said something similar — “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” He was making the case that, while there are experts out there, many things gain value because you are the one doing them. For example, it is possible that there is a hug-expert out there in the world. This person might have just the right arm-length, smell, technique, etc. This person may be able to execute the most technically excellent hug: a perfect 10. But does a crying child want a perfect hug from the expert or an amateur hug from mom? I think we all know the answer.
This is true for you and your class as well. Your students don’t need the PhD-level, scripted integration that is technically sound and perfectly organized from someone else as much as they need your integration.
I am not excusing poor teaching or preparation here. No, we should strive to be excellent. But don’t forget that excellence is achieved one step at a time. If you want to do something well, start by doing it poorly. You will grow. And your students will grow with you. So get started right now. You might miss the bulls-eye at times, but at least you aimed for the target.