A better person.

One of the things I enjoy about teaching is that it makes me a better person. Not inherently - I'm not saying that teachers are better people than most (though some of us, no, I kid, I kid. Sort of). No, I mean that I become a better person because I'm trying to be a good model for my students.

Some days I just don't want to get out of bed and go to school. But I do, because that's the responsible choice (and because sub plans are more trouble than they're worth, but that's beside the point).

I NEVER want to sit down and grade papers; I can always think of something else I'd rather be doing. But I do it because I've promised the students (explicitly and implicitly) that I will; if they've put in the work, I need to put in the work.

And today I went running for the first time since college (when I ran a grand total of twice before giving up and going back to the stationary bike). I've been talking about considering trying to start jogging off and on for a few years, but never have quite managed it, mainly because I freakin' HATE it. But I think it would be good for me, and I don't get much exercise during the school year because my gym is too far away and I'm too tired in the evenings, and so running seems like it would be a good solution, particularly as the weather's getting nicer. My husband runs, a ton of my friends run, I live half a mile from the nicest park in my town, it'd be good for my dogs....I have lots of reasons to take it up. But I never have.

Today I went because on Friday, two of my favorite students asked me if I'd do a 10K with them at the end of the year. I hemmed and hawed and said that I hated running, and they cajoled and pleaded, and in the end I said I'd think about it. And they cheered, and I thought, "I really have to do this now." They tipped the scale towards trying instead of just continuing to make excuses.

So now I have to keep trying.

I will certainly not be running a 10K in two months. But I'm doing the Couch to 5K plan, and if I can run half of it and then walk the rest, I'll feel damn good about myself. And the girls who asked me to join plan to run only part too, so I won't be letting them down. Week 1, Day 1 is down and the race is 8 weeks out, so I'll have time to get through almost all of the schedule.

I'll keep you all posted - but because I now feel answerable to my students, I'm going to have to keep it up.

See? A better person. Or at least one whose legs hurt more than usual. It's probably kind of the same thing.


La Brown Girl said...

This is one of the reasons I like teaching, too. You are such an inspiration to me as I sit here procrastinating my prep work for the week.

Good luck with the running!

teachin' said...

Thanks for the good wishes and the compliment....but notice that I was blogging rather than grading.... :)

Joan said...

I've bookmarked Couch to 5K and I keep coming back to it to wonder...

I am really out of shape. I have not ran in years. But I am feeling the pull.

Inspire me....please! ;)

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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