In my fourth year of teaching first grade, I experienced a profound “aha” moment. It was the beginning of the year, and I was teaching my students a new routine, one that - once school was up and running - would take about 5-7 minutes from start to finish. But on that first day it took 35 minutes. I was incredibly frustrated at the end of the lesson, doubting my skill as a teacher and wondering if this group of children would ever be as capable as the class the year before. But then it hit me: It was their first time learning this routine, and to expect proficiency on day 1 was unrealistic. I entered day 2 with different expectations, and the lesson took 20 minutes. By day 7 we were down to 5-7 minutes.