Practice Perfect explores how the simple act of having teachers practice their craft can lead to transformative success -- but only if executed correctly. Lemov had observed that successful teachers practice them relentlessly. Which is unlike current professional development -- in which teachers "listen, reflect, discuss, and debate, but they don't practice." Here are some key takeaways for schools and districts to extract real value for their money spent on PD:
- As a starting point, recognize the difference between simply doing something repeatedly -- which can encode failure instead of success -- and mindful, focused practice.
- Adhere to the 80/20 rule: spend 80 percent of time working on the 20 percent of skills that are crucial to success, instead of choosing a new focus for each PD session.
- Provide immediate feedback and opportunities to practice the skill again as soon as the feedback is received. Teachers shouldn't just work on a skill until they've got it; they need to work on a skill until it becomes second nature.