My Teacher, the Runner

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Running and a Teachable Moment

A year ago, today, I wrote this post on my former blog hosted by Google.  Today I am reposting because it is exactly where I am today.  This post reflects how running has postively influenced my life as a teacher.

I always seem to find myself using running as a metaphor for motivating learners in my classroom. One student always seems to be comparing his/ her abilities to others in the classroom. Due to privacy issues I won’t divulge whether this student is a boy or girl.
Today, I found myself talking to this student about why I run. During class assignments this one student in particular is sometimes consumed with the pace of everyone else. My student becomes frustrated and then wants to give up on the assignment. Running is like learning; everyone works at their own pace. As I crouched down low beside the student’s desk, I whispered about “running your own race”.
I talked about how one has to focus on their own pace and goals. It’s not about where everyone else is at that moment, instead, it’s about you and your goals. I encourage my students to create goals for themselves, just as I recently created goals for myself. The only person you have to prove anything to is yourself. Only you have the ability to set your own pace in the classroom or on the road. While my student continued to struggle with not being done as fast as everyone else, I continued to talk. ” If I worried about everyone else being faster than me, then I’d never run.” I told my student that I focus on running and racing for myself. It’s about being comfortable with my pace and knowing that I can achieve my goals because they are mine to achieve. I told my student that it’s important to recognize your own strengths and talents. Running is about finding your strength and pushing your limits because they belong to you.
Set the pace for yourself and believe that you can accomplish anything. Don’t worry about the pace everyone else is running, just run for yourself. My student finished the assignment.
How does running affect other areas of your life?

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