Growth, Not Perfection

Faolan Jones

Is seeking perfection in our students, our schools and ourselves a healthy model for growth?

Isaac Pollack (Teach For America '06), Principal of New Orleans’ Carver High School doesn’t think so. He leads his school on the simple belief that "it’s ok to make mistakes, just be better tomorrow than you were today."

This belief underpins a culture of constant growth in which Isaac’s role is to maximize the growth of his teachers, his teachers' mission is to maximize the growth of the students, and the students are responsible for maximizing their own education. This “upside down pyramid” of responsibility provides a framework through which the entire school can engage in constant growth and be better tomorrow than they were today.

To learn more about Carver High School and how Isaac works to turn the most challenging moments with his students into opportunities to connect with them, watch this video.


Reflect & Share

  • Do you agree with Isaac that seeking perfection is not a healthy model for the work that we do?

  • How do you model expectations for growth with your students and colleagues?