“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.” James Clear – Atomic Habits.

It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.

James Clear writes, ‘improving by 1% isn’t particularly notable— sometimes it isn’t even noticeable—but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run. The difference a tiny improvement can make over time is astounding. Here’s how it works out: if you can get 1% better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1% worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more. It doesn’t matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path toward success’

We challenged our staff last month to focus on getting 1% better every day. 

Our teachers are all in the process of setting professional growth targets with this in mind. We want staff to have a relentless ethic to constantly look at ways to improve their practice. This may be tweaking small things such as: allowing more thinking time for students when asking a particular questions, using varied modelling techniques to provide clarity or tweaking activities to further enhance the level of challenge further.

In recent staff training, we used James’ analogy: If a plane was travelling from LA to NYC across the USA – yet the nose changed a couple of degrees inflight, for most of the flight initially, you would notice no difference! However, you’d be bound for NYC but end up in Washington DC – some 300 miles away. The impact of the plane represents a shift of habits over time.

Our staffs’ drive to continuous improvement is a dedication to making small changes and improvements every day, with the expectation that those small improvements will add up to something significant. Our continual goal to develop our pedagogy and make 1% improvement over time is a commitment to ensuring the students and children at SBAS get the best possible learning experience.