Teaching Tip: Perfectionistic Students
Teachers are typically concerned about students who are not motivated to do well. But what about students who want to do too well? These students are perfectionists whose need to be the best in everything produces unhealthy pressure and can lead to emotional problems.
Here are some things you can do to help perfectionistic students.
- Help the student to understand that errors and mistakes are a normal part of learning.
- Explain to the student that the time and energy needed to produce perfect work on a task will take away time and energy needed to well on other tasks.
- Help the student set appropriate and reasonable goals for performance.
- Where feasible, replace assigning a score or grade for the student's work with comments that highlight what he or she did well.
- Encourage the student to finish assignments by establishing specific time limits for completion.