Monday, December 17, 2012

Running...just another initiative?

Okay. This is embarrassing. I don't even want to say it. But, I guess I'll admit it.  I. Haven't. Been. Running. Ahh!  I know... we've all been in times like this, but I've been really bad!  Anyway, as my husband and I rejoined our gym a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about my running journey.

We often think of running, or working out for that matter, as an addition to our already hectic schedule. In education terms, dare we say it is an initiative?  Oooh, those forbidden words of a new initiative!! Frightful, frightful words.

As I was "treading" on the treadmill attempting to run a couple of miles, I was trying to distract my "I can't do this," "this is terrible," and "how did I get myself so out of shape" thoughts.  While doing this, I realized that I'm not really adding this to my calendar, but merely adjusting what I'd been doing with my time.  Instead of coming home and watching Wheel of Fortune, I'm at the gym.  Now, if Wheel of Fortune was extremely beneficial to my health or learning, then maybe I'd have a tougher decision, but let's be honest about that.  Good, classic game show? Yes!  Beneficial to my health and learning? No!

Then I started thinking about school initiatives.  These initiatives aren't to add something new, they are designed to adjust or alter old practices.  Let's look at an example.  Common Core standards.  As we learn about them, unpack them, study them, create assessments for them, and design tasks to match the rigor, this all seems like an addition.  A time-intensive initiative.  Isn't it really just altering our current practices.  What we learn, study, and do with the CCSS shouldn't be an addition to our already busy days, but a change in how we view student learning and achievement.

So what am I really saying?  I'm saying that working out and school initiatives shouldn't be a matter of time.  It should be changing current practices and making you better.  

On a Separate Note: Reflection from Friday's Tragic Event
I have always felt blessed to be in the education field.  No matter how bad I want to stay in bed in the morning, how much work I have to do, or the data I need to look at, the students always, always, make it worth it.  On Monday morning, the students are the ones walking down excited to see you.  Maybe I created an environment where they felt safe or where they knew they were going to be pushed, but it was all because of them.  This might be too honest, but I don't feel like a hero.  The students are the cause behind every teacher's effort.  They are the ones that make it worth it.  When they walked in the building this morning, they once again brought that sense of comfort, joy, and love back to school.  Without the students, our heroes are gone.

Peace and love to all who have been impacted so gravely by this act, and may we find our heroes everyday in the students we teach.

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