The other day I was speaking with a teacher friend and she shared some amazing advice with me. I knew this was way too important to keep to myself… so I decided to share!

She was talking with a professor who asked her, “Would a surgeon continue the same practices year after year, even if a new technique or strategy was discovered?” Then she turned it to us. “Should teachers continue the same practices year after year, even if a new technique or strategy is discovered?” I think the answer is obvious. We don’t want teachers that never change how they teach! But many argue {including me!} it’s impossible to be an effective teacher when you’re also changing your teaching practice every year. Getting into the “groove” and perfecting your organizational system takes time and is an important part of being a productive teacher. After your first 3-5 years, teachers tend to get into a routine and many refuse to change their practice. Or some change it every year. Neither option is going to bode well when it comes to long term teaching.

But then, an interesting idea was brought up. We teachers can’t do everything every year. But we CAN make small changes. What if teachers chose one topic to focus on every year. One subject to overhaul through research and application in their classroom? It may not make much difference at first, but can you imagine 10 years later? Your teaching would never grow stale or boring because it would be changing 10% every year. In 10 years, 100% of your teaching style will have changed. And with very little stress or effort on your part.

Obviously each class will be different, so you’ll have to make adjustments for that, and you’ll have your school wide studies that will change and impact your teaching. But I really believe that by choosing a focus each year – you will be able to simply and continually be an effective educator.

Have you done anything like this before? Do you believe this could make a difference? Please share your thoughts in the comments! I would love to know what you think!

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