My name is Meredyth, and I am a Perfectionist.
My consistently high standards have proven to be both my biggest asset and my biggest hindrance in life. I have always been a highly motivated individual, but a seemingly small mistake has the capacity to make my whole world fall apart.
As a teaching artist, I encourage young people to try new things, and make big, bold choices on stage. But if I am going to ask students to work through their fears of failure, it’s only fair that I not only talk the talk, but walk the walk as well. This past week, I surprised myself with how easily I was able to adapt to the dynamic classes of young people I was teaching. I took several risks this week- a significant one being that I taught “in role” for the first time. In a morning drama class, our young people used their imaginations to travel to Mexico, where they met a chef named Senor Guac Amole, played by yours truly. In a fabulous, turquoise blue sombrero and an apron I led the class in a pantomimed cooking lesson on how to make burritos. By my standards, that segment of class was a hot mess. But when we went around the circle at the end of the day, more than half the class identified the trip to Mexico as their favorite part of the day. This week was full of positive experiences, and I feel like I have my teaching brain working again. But there were several activities that I either explained poorly or overestimated the cognitive abilities of my four and five year olds and had to reassess in the moment to adjust it. There were multiple moments where things did not go as planned or did not run smoothly in any sense of the word. But the fact that MISTAKES ARE OKAY finally sunk in. (It only took me 21 years…) I am finally letting go of my habit of beating myself up every time something goes wrong. This week, instead of feeling defeated by mistakes, I feel energized about all of the learning opportunities I have in front of me.