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Running a Marathon

October 7, 2011
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This weekend marks the 35th running of the Chicago Marathon. Alongside the Boston, New York, London and Berlin Marathons, it is one of the five World Marathon Majors. This year’s race is Sunday, October 9, 2011.

Merriam-Webster defines marathon as a long-distance race: (a footrace run on an open course usually of 26 miles 385 yards (42.2 kilometers) or a race other than a footrace marked especially by great length). It is also an endurance contest or something (as an event, activity, or session) characterized by great length or concentrated effort.

Earlier this year, my husband decided to run the Chicago Marathon. While he is an active man and has competed in a few short races, he has not been a lifelong runner. My first response was, “Perhaps you should have considered a shorter race for your first competition.” The race is 26.2 miles! He has not been deterred from his goal all these months. He has followed his training schedule methodically, modified his lifestyle, researched and learned all about running shoes, running styles, heart monitors, nutrition, socks, etc. AND now he is ready. Two goals remain: finishing the race and not coming in last.Untitled 0 00 08-21

As I have watched his progress I have been newly amazed at the power of setting a goal and going after it. This is not something he had to do or needed to do. It is something he wanted to do. As I was thinking about this during this last week of training, I thought about how powerful self-determination can be. How powerful it is to set a goal and BELIEVE you can achieve that goal. We know from research that efficacy is an essential trait of effective teachers. Teachers who make a difference are those who believe they can and who believe in the future of their students.

Successful students also set goals and believe they can achieve their goals. Master teachers not only believe in themselves but give their students the tools and power to set goals and believe in their abilities to reach those goals.

Being a teacher is like running a continual marathon. It takes endurance and concentrated effort. The school year is now past the first laps. Teachers and students are now well into the race. This post is a reminder to keep your focus on the goals and don’t ever lose sight of the finish line. Teach your students to do the same.

I’ll let you know the race results in a future post. No matter what happens, he is already a winner. Below are some ideas to keep your students fresh, energized and focused on learning.

Linda C.

 

Classroom Ideas

As a lesson idea to go with this post I was reminded of a creative writing lesson I did years ago with a colleague. We used a digital camera and had students take pictures of each other’s teeth, smiles, feet, or hands. The students then chose from creative writing assignments. We wrote acrostic poems or paragraphs from the perspective of the body part:  If these Feet Could Talk, Diary of Well Worn Shoes, These Boots are Made for Walking.  Use the digital photos to illustrate the creative writing samples.

An excellent resource is the Acrostic Poem Interactive on ReadWriteThink to create your poem. Print and attach the photo. You can now save on this web tool.

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/acrostic-poems-30045.html  

Click to open a Sample acrostic poem

Resources for classroom activities and lesson plans using digital photography.

 

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