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The 1% that Make a Difference

In any sport where the player is not quite performing at the level they want, a good coach goes back to basics.

Refine the fundamentals that make the game winnable.

Kicking the ball straight. Accurate passing. Improved follow through.

The basics.

The 1%ers. The small techniques that can make a big difference.

How the game changes when the % of balls kicked land right where your teammate wants it. The number of ball passes arrive where your teammate is. The placement of the ball due to extra length in the follow through of your tennis swing.

At Mandurah Primary School during our Culture Landscape workshop one of the landmarks was the school.

The question that accompanied the marvellous structures was,

“What is a 1% change in what we do that would make a big difference to your teaching?”

This is the opportunity for educators to share their ideas on what would make their life better. Of course, the flood gates open with a wish list that not even Santa could fulfill.

From coffee machines to massage sessions to time off and less work.

After allowing those suggestions that need to be expressed, the deputy, Ben Garrett courageously delivered an analogy that realigned what we required.

“When tying the fishing hook to the fishing line there is inevitably excess line at the knot. It could be left. But good fishermen always cut it off to streamline the hook shaft and line as possible makes better baiting of the hook. It makes a difference.

Let’s consider what are the small things we, as individuals, can control that and make a difference.”

Then the penny dropped and the suggestions were real and actionable.

“Arriving on time for your class after a break so the students are not noisy in the hallway. It makes a difference to the general ambience of the other classes.”

“Make sure you scan the teacher resources, so we all know where they are. It makes a difference to teacher's time chasing the resources down.”

“Calm the students down prior to transition to the specialist teacher. It makes a difference to the beginning of the lesson.”

There were others.

In the context of schools, the 1%ers are the actions individuals take that make a big difference in other staff members lives. And anything that improves the culture of a school, has to be good.

What are the 1%ers that would make a difference at your school?

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