The Extra Degree


Did you know that at 211 degrees, water is hot? Just call me Captain Obvious! Even though water is hot at 211 degrees, it isn’t boiling. It takes one extra degree in order to make water boil. So what’s the big deal you ask? When water boils, it produces steam. With steam, you can power a train. Even though that one extra degree might not seem like much, it matters.

One of my favorite inspirational books is entitled 212: The Extra Degree by Sam Parker. This book is a quick 15-minute read, but it is packed with a great life lesson. The book talks about the importance of giving an extra degree of effort in everything that we do. The concept behind the book is that small things make a huge difference in life. As a teacher, that concept is amazing. That means the extra effort we give for our school, our colleagues or our students can change lives and maybe even change the world.

What does it look like to give an extra degree of effort at school? It could mean giving an extra smile in the hallway to a student or a colleague. Maybe it’s catching a few more students doing something right and acknowledging those positive behaviors. It might mean spending a few minutes outside of class talking to a student about something besides school in order to form a better relationship. Or what about reteaching a concept to a student who didn’t quite get it the first time you taught the material? There are so many ways to be 212.

Today, I am extending a challenge to each of you. My challenge is to be 212 each day. Give an extra degree of effort in everything that you do. You never know what the outcome of that extra degree of effort might be. This challenge isn’t just for you, I am speaking to myself as well. Let’s work together to make our schools 212. Schools where everyone is known to give a little extra effort in everything they do.

Take a moment and watch the short 3-minute video that goes along with the book. It is definitely worth your time!

Have a marvelous Monday and a wonderful week!


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