Three Steps Towards Making Bad Teaching Habits Good

 In Professional Development, Tips for Teachers

Most people have at least one bad habit, if not, more than one. The bad habits can be in their personal lives and in the workplace. Many teachers have bad habits they probably don’t even notice. Some of these bad teaching habits include:

  • Using a textbook as the script for teaching.
  • Saving time by borrowing a daily lesson plan from a peer teacher.
  • Giving students a worksheet to complete and then asking the students to check their work with the answers that you provide.

These habits are not supported by any research about the most effective ways for students to excel in the classroom.

Making Bad Teaching Habits Good

Research done on best practices in teaching help teachers break their bad habits. In The Power of Habit, Duhigg proposes three elements for breaking a habit. These elements are:

  1. How to break bad teaching habits.Cue: Use a lesson plan template aligned to the Student Engagement Framework.
  2. Routine: Follow the Teaching ALWAYS Actions every day, to design and implement instruction.
  3. Reward: Higher student achievement from applying the Student Engagement Framework.

No strategy, activity, or resource will ensure improved learning until all of the bad habits evolve into research-based, good teaching habits. Observers notice good teaching habits when they see a teacher and students engaging with each other on a learning task that has a purpose, a clear target, and maintains focus on the overall learning goal.

Showcasing Good Teaching Habits

A great habit for teachers to model for students is success. Model what success looks like. Students want to feel successful and do so with friends. In order to do that, students must match a behavior or action to a feeling. As teachers, modeling what success looks like will help students become more motivated to achieve learning targets.


Savannah Cox, TeacherReady®

Featured Image: Teach Hub • Additional Image: Teachers Net Gazette • Resource: Who’s Engaged? Book

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