Become A Better Teacher by One Percent Everyday

How can becoming one percent better improve your teaching over time. Learn about the compounding effect of building small habits.

Become A Better Teacher by One Percent Everyday
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Better By One Percent Everyday

“It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.” -The Compound Effect* by Darren Hardy

Teachers spend a good part of their day working in situations in which they have little control. Classrooms are filled with different human beings with different behaviors. One predictable thing about teaching is that it is unpredictable. Sometimes I cannot wrap my head around everything that happens in one day at school.

However, we are in control of our actions and reactions.

Imagine how small actions can add up to big results over time. According to James Clear, “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”. I recently watched his talk describing what happens when you get one percent better every day (video below).

I started to generate a list of little habits and actions that might compound into big results. Here’s what I have so far. Maybe this list will help you identify something you could focus on that will help you become better one percent at a time. The key is to start small and then keep the streak alive.

Small Ways to Become One Percent Better At Teaching - A Few Ideas

  1. Take five minutes at the end of the school day to reflect on successes and challenges and to decide what you would like to accomplish tomorrow.
  2. Create a few positive affirmations connected with teaching and recite them at set intervals throughout the school day.
  3. Be mindful and focus on your breathing for 5 minutes during lunch -if you are lucky enough to have a little time alone 😊.
  4. Learn something new with your students.
  5. Look to incorporate something new and different into your instruction. Put time aside for a small brainstorming session weekly or monthly. If you do this consistently it will add up over the months and years.
  6. We usually have that voice in the back of our minds that’s letting us know an area we can improve or a habit we should change. Pause and listen to it. Here is a list of effective teacher habits to help you get started.
  7. Create a structure where students can provide their input giving them a voice to share what they need.
  8. Find ways to compliment your students. Pick a number per day and stick to it.
  9. Set aside a set amount of time for professional reading each week.

Additional Resources:

  • James Clear is featured in the talk below. He's the author of the book Atomic Habits*.
  • Check out the magical compounding effects of habits. This is the article that first peaked my interest.

Thanks for reading. Please share your feedback and comments on Twitter. What's your recent teacher win? What are you reading and learning lately? Just say "Hi". Send a tweet to @jeremyajorg.

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