Continuous Improvement

Recently I started reading the book, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. This is a book that had been recommended to me by several people, so I figured I needed to pick it up and read it. If you know me, you know that I love leadership books and books on self improvement. I am always looking to increase my capacity and improve as an individual.

I immediately loved this book when it began talking about making 1% changes each day. The author explained the math about making 1% improvements on a daily basis. It might not seem like a big deal to make such a small change today, and then again tomorrow, but over time, those changes start to compound. If you were to make 1% improvements for an entire year, you would be 37 times better than you are today. Wow, that’s a lot of improvement!

When I look at this chart, I wonder what I would be like a year from now if I could improve by just 1% on a daily basis. However, committing to making improvements every day for a year seems like a lot. Since we are educators, what if we just improved each day we were at school? That would be 1.01180 = 6.0. That means we would be 6 times better than we are right now. What would it look like if each teacher was six times better than their current self?

So what does a 1% improvement look like? It could be making sure you do a read aloud each school day to the students. What about trying a new teaching strategy? It could be making sure you grade one assignment each day before going home. It could be saying good morning to each student by name each morning. Maybe it is sending a positive note home to a student’s parents. There are so many ways to make a 1% improvement. What is a 1% improvement that you can make today?

I haven’t finished the book yet, but I am already hooked. You may see more memos based on this book. If you want to know more about the 1% improvement idea, watch the video below.


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