Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beyond Innovation Week

For our innovation week assignment, I decided to begin marathon training.  I could have sat around and rested for an hour each day, I could have caught up on my TV shows, I could have read a book (which I tried but only got 5 chapters read), I could have watched movies, but I wanted to do something more meaningful to me.  Yes, all of those things relax me, which is important, but they aren't as meaningful to me as doing something with a purpose (besides to relax).  Although running and working out is difficult and hard to get the motivation to do sometimes, what I was searching for was the reward from it.  The reward is how I feel afterwards.  Not only do I applaud myself for going through with it, no matter how much I don't want to, but I applaud myself because I did something difficult that betters myself both physically and mentally.  My stress is erased, my worries eased. I have a better time concentrating after I exercise (which I'm sure has something to do with endorphins and more oxygen in my brain) and I feel better about myself in general.

Taking all of the things that exercise and running does for me, I now look to what it could do for my future students.  As a future teacher, I always consider what I can do to motivate and engage my students to help them become better learners.  What I learned more clearly through my innovation week is that exercise is beneficial for the mind and body. I believe that students need physical exercise in order to have more mental energy to learn in the classroom.  Not only does physical exercise help "fidgety" students get some energy out, but it releases those much needed endorphins and provides more oxygen to the brain so that students can focus more in the classroom.  Taking these things into consideration, my next step has two parts.  Personally, I will keep on training for the marathon, and even keep on exercising regularly beyond the marathon.  This is a step that will keep me physically and mentally fit and also keep me healthy.  This is the first step in providing a model for students.  If I was unhealthy and didn't take part in physical exercise, what benefit could they see in it?  The next step is to find ways to incorporate daily physical exercise into the school day.  I know that this is not an easy task because there are so many things to accomplish in a school day, but all I can think of is how much more productive the students could be if they participated in daily physical exercise.  I believe that P.E. being relegated to once a week in many schools is not doing the students a service.  I believe they need more.  I believe the actual health guidelines call for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week (I could be totally wrong but that's what I'm remembering for some reason).  One step in the right direction that I will apply when I am a teacher is to never keep a child in from recess or lunch recess.  I believe this exacerbates the problem and we need to find more effective ways to handle classroom management issues (like finding more ways to keep them engaged and on-task so there's no room for off-task behavior!).

All in all:  "Commit to be fit!"  ~Author Unknown (I added the exclamation point)


  1. Just wanted to add that even though Innovation week is technically over and we are back to our usual assignments, I went running and-or worked out Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and took a break Saturday. In less than an hour I will be going on a run, so I am pretty excited that I'm keeping it up and sticking with my goal!

  2. Great job with sticking to it! And yes we do need to be role models for our students.

  3. Good job keeping up with your training:) I love the idea of committing to physical exercise in your pedagogy. I have a general rule of thumb with my adult students that I have at least one activity that has them up and out of their seats every hour. I know that I lose focus and get sleepy/fidgety after about 60 minutes in a chair so I aim to prevent this in my students...even though they are adults!