Running and Teaching Intersect

Runner and Teacher

Over the years, I constantly find myself using running as a metaphor for life, in my classroom.  I have been an elementary teacher for 19 years now.  So many of my students have shared in my daily and weekly musings of my running and training for races.  So often, a conversation in the classroom about goals and struggles, leads to me sharing a story about a recent run or race.  

Writing– Many stories that I write in front of my students as a model for good writing, are about running or races.  A narrative of a recent run in the rain and how the drops soaked my shirt and left my shoes soggy.  Or a piece of writing in which I wrote about struggling through the heat on a warm and humid evening, after school.  These stories help my students as writers, but also give them a glimpse into my life as a runner.  I am more than just their teacher, I am runner.  

I am more than just their teacher, I am a runner. Click To Tweet

Brain Breaks-  When your teacher is a runner. be prepared for “brain breaks” to consist of stretching, foam rolling and yoga! 

teacher life/runner life

Not only do I love that I can get students up and out of their seats, but it gives me a chance to squeeze in some yoga, stretching and foam rolling throughout the day.  Yoga happens daily and weekly in the classroom,  the students love to engage in various stretches and yoga poses.  I brought my foam roller in for my students to use as stress relief.  They love to roll out their calves and lower back muscles. 

This past month, class participated in International Kids Yoga Day.  We loved gathering in a circle on the carpet and challenging ourselves with various poses.  I have been so impressed with the willingness and dedication of my fourth grade students to participate in yoga!  Our favorite poses are pigeon pose and warrior.  My boys love warrior because it sounds strong!  

Recess–  When your teacher is a runner, everyone runs at some point during recess.  Students know that if they ask me to run laps with them at recess, I always say yes!  Usually one or two students start off running with me and then gradually more and more students join in on the laps around the playground and soccer field.  Another “sneaky” way for me to get in some light jogging! 

Running Inspires Teachable Moments-  As a teacher who runs, I am constantly weaving health and fitness routines into the day.  My students definitely enjoy being active throughout the day, instead of being stationary at a desk all day long.  Of course, when your teacher is a runner, morning meetings and motivational speeches to get the day started, inevitably intersect with running. I find myself sharing the same motivational mantras and quotes that I use on long runs and in tough races.  

The Journey (Training and Finish Lines) – The school year is much like a training cycle.  This is my greatest opportunity to coach and get my students to the finish line.  The finish line happens to be the end of the school year.  The journey to the finish line is filled with days, weeks and months of training-coaching each student to reach his or her full potential.  I’ve told my students many times that there are obstacles and challenges along the miles.  Miles are filled with learning and growing, challenging ourselves.  As the school year nears its end, so does this journey.  My fourth graders have 35 days of school left in this “training cycle”.  My words to them as they prepare to cross the finish line of 4th grade are:

“Finish Strong.  Push through towards the finish line” 

Motivation and Inspiration- A Marine amputee, carrying the American Flag for 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon.

When your teacher is a runner-she shares these images -that inspire and motivate.  A reminder, that when things get tough, remember that anything is possible.  

My Teacher is a Runner- 

I asked my students, “What is it like to have a teacher who is a runner?”  Some of my students wrote me notes on post-its.  I love what they had to say. . .

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Student Post-Its –
  • ” My teacher makes you strong and brave and makes sure that you make the finish line.”
  • “She helps me move to finish strong”
  • “Having a teacher that runs, inspires us to stay on course and pushes us to reach the finish line.
  • “My teacher will make sure you make your mark in life and she is sure to make her’s too.” 
  • “Having a teacher that runs feels good because sometimes they do yoga with you to keep you feeling good and to take a break from the subject.” 

Just a few thoughts on what it is like when-“Your teacher is a runner.”


How does running impact other parts of your life?  

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