Category: Uncategorized

The Day After Perfect

The Day After Perfect

Image result for finish book

A few months ago I read Jon Acuff’s book Finish. The book is about what it takes to finish your goals and what keeps us from finishing. The first chapter of the book shares a great concept that I think is important for educators to hear. In the book, he talks about the day after perfect and the difference it can make between those who quit and those who finish.

When I first started teaching every day I told myself that my class that day was going to be amazing. I would spend a lot of time planning and get ready for a lesson that I was sure was going to be a hit….reality is sometimes they were hits and sometimes they were duds. If you have spent any time working in education (or really any field) you probably know the duds I’m talking about. The ones that make you question why you are doing what you are doing. It is at this point that we have to make a decision. Ignore the one bad day and learn from it OR quit. Sadly too many people quit because they believe that they are not living up to the standard that has been set by other educators at their school or on social media. Acuff argues that instead of quitting you should acknowledge that you are not perfect and then start over again. You will never finish anything if you allow perfection to stand in the way.

This is something that I find myself having to remind myself about. There is always tomorrow and tomorrow brings an opportunity to start a new streak of awesomeness. Don’t let perfection and this false image we have created with social media of what it takes to get good demoralize you. Education is a very personal journey and everyone’s journey will be different. Don’t let the day after perfect keep you from taking this journey.



Using a timer in class is a great way motivate students to stay on task. Today I wanted to share two online options that I have used in the past to help students (and teachers during PD 😉 )stay on task.

Many of us use the timers on our phone, small stopwatches, or even the clock on our computer to manage time. The problem is unless we tell the students how much time they have left they never really know. To help students gain a better grasp for time you can project a timer for the students. Doing this helps students become aware of how to best manage their time during class.

One quick tip that I have for using timers is to assign random times. For example instead of telling students they have 10 minutes to finish something I will tell them that they have 9 minutes. Even though it’s only a one minute difference that lack of a minute creates a sense of urgency that can help students stay on task.

Option #1

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 12.28.31 PM is a website where a user can input the amount of time they need for a timer and in seconds have a full screen countdown projected on their board. It’s simple to use and even has some special timers you can use to have fun with.

Option #2


If you would like to include a timer into your PowerPoint or Google Presentation there are several different timers available on Youtube. To find a timer I search for the amount of time I want and the words timer or countdown. So for a five minute timer I would search for “5 minute timer” or “5 minute countdown”. I suggest scrubbing through the video first to make sure that there are no surprises before including it in your presentation.

If you need any help with setting up a timer please let me know. Also if you find any other amazing timers or have any suggestions for using a timer in the classroom please be sure to share with the group!

Featured Image: Timer de Cozinha em forma de Tomate by
Attribution-NonCommercial License