Tag: swimming

Will I sink or will I swim as I teach?

Will I sink or will I swim as I teach?

It feels very appropriate to be writing a new blog entry now that I have officially survived my first week in a new chapter of life.  My new chapter was opened last week when I started my position as a Business Teacher at my old high school (Go Terriers!).  It’s also my first ‘snow day’ due to freezing rain, which I am thankful for because it gives this new teacher a chance to play catch up!

I have found myself sitting at my desk each day during my plan period trying to keep up with the endless grading.  Not only during my plan period, but at every spare moment – morning, afternoon, and evening – I find myself grading, planning lessons, or doing something that revolves around teaching and inspiring my students.  I leave school and find myself working at home planning lessons, and trying to keep my head above the water that seems to be inching ever closer.  After just a week, I have found that I love working with my students, I am getting used to my schedule, and I am starting to find a rhythm that I hope works for me.  That doesn’t change that I am still at the very beginning of this chapter, and I still feel as though I am swimming, paddling, and kicking my legs in the water to keep my head above it.  I know other beginning teachers, seasoned teachers, and even retired teachers can relate to how I am feeling.

As I was grading, and grading, and grading some more I was beginning to become overwhelmed and exhausted by it.  I was also getting a little sick of it because the piles seemed like they were never ending.  My ‘To be graded’ and ‘To be entered’ folders always seem full and I’m not giving an overabundance of homework or class assignments (nothing more than other teachers in my department or in the building, in general).

Then I realized something as I was sitting at my desk grading papers.  This wasn’t just endless grading.  It was meaningful information.  In fact, it was great information because my students were teaching me.  Students included things I didn’t expect in their assignments, made inferences I was amazed by, and allowed me to learn something new.  I have come to recognize that I not only love my students, but I also love what grading has given to me.  They are actually teaching me a lot when I grade their assignments, things about the world, sports, and life.  For example, I was reading one student’s research on computer programming jobs and he had said that the computer programming field is actually declining.  He said that the job outlook is not good and I was surprised by this.  I actually thought computer programming would be a rising field since so many things revolve around technology and computers.  On another occasion, a student taught me that wrestling is a year round sport.  I haven’t watched a lot of wrestling and it was surprising to me.  I learned something new from him!  That was pretty cool, and it was something I wouldn’t have known if my student hadn’t shared that with me.

I am sharing this because if we think outside of the box and color outside of the lines we may be surprised by what we see or learn.  It allows us to see things from another person’s perspective, appreciate life more fully, and understand why we do what we do.  Why we do something (such as grade papers) may seem obvious, but if we think of it in a different context we are able to see that it can be more than just grading.  It can be a learning experience.  We often go through life doing our job tasks mindlessly because they have become mundane and repetitive.  I hope this helps you put things in perspective and find new ways to bring meaning to your own life whether you’re a teacher, social worker, electrician, construction worker, or film director.  We can all find ways that our job provides meaning.  This is precisely what my #ProjectKindnessBook is about.

Oh, and by the way, I will most definitely be swimming during this chapter, not sinking, even if I have to kick and paddle the entire way!




ABCs + Exercises = Get Moving!

ABCs + Exercises = Get Moving!

I thought it would be fun to do something a little different this week that would be creative, a little out of the ordinary, and something that family and kids, couples, and people of all ages can enjoy together!  In honor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign and to pay tribute to Heart Health Month it seemed appropriate to put together an “ABCs of Exercises” to get people moving this month and throughout 2015!  So, here are some exercise ideas to get you going!

A:  Ab workout

B: Biking, Basketball, Bicycle Crunches

C: Crunches, Canoeing

D: Dancing

E: Equestrian – Ride horses!

F: Football

G: Game night w/ a twist – do exercises in-between games and snack breaks!

H: Hiking

I: Ice skating

J: Jumping jacks, Jogging

K: Kayaking

L: Lunges

M: Make a fort, make a tunnel, or make something creative outside!

N: Natural surroundings, use your imagination in your neighborhood to play outside.

O: Open Air — because I love fresh air and being outside!  Run, jog, walk, hike, the possibilities are endless!

P: Push-ups, Paddle boat

Q: Quick run

R: Racquetball, Running

S: Squats, Soccer, Skiing, Stretching, Swimming

T: Tennis

U: Ultimate frisbee

V: Volleyball

W: Weights/Weight training, Walking

X: X-treme water park? It’s X…give me a break, there aren’t too many options with X!

Y: Yoga, Yard work

Z: Zoo outing might be an option as long as it involves some walking, of course!

Happy exploring, playing, and moving!  Find your interests and hobbies and use those along with your imagination and creativity to come up with activities that you can enjoy all while moving!


To workout or not? …WORKOUT!

To workout or not? …WORKOUT!

Do you ever have one of those days where you aren’t sure whether you want to workout or not?  Of course you do, because we all do at one point or another.  The point when you say to yourself, do I really want to workout today or should I take the night off.  It’s one of life’s burning questions!  Well, maybe not exactly one of life’s burning questions for all of us, but you know what I mean! 🙂  You get off work at 4:30, the kids have soccer practice at 6:30, and you aren’t sure whether you have time to fit in a workout, shower, and get the kids fed before practice.  Trust me, time management will allow you to do it and you will thank yourself later!  Skipping workouts is one of the worst things you can do for yourself because it takes you out of your routine.  Even if you can’t do your regular 30-45 minutes of cardio, strength training, or yoga, go ahead and fit in a small workout whether it be a walk or 30 minutes of stretching and at home exercises (i.e. jumping jacks, lunges, squats, push-ups, etc).  Maintaining a routine will help encourage you to stay on track, reach your fitness goals, and make you feel healthier and happier (aka less stress)!

The question at hand: Should you workout today?  Answer: See the infographic to the left!  There aren’t too many reasons that will get you out of the workout, so if you are looking for an excuse you will need to look elsewhere!  There are too many benefits of working out!  If you are considering skipping a workout this infographic will reaffirm to you why you SHOULD get up off your butt and go workout!

It’s March, which means it is time for 5k runs, outside workouts, yard work, walking on trails, swimming, etc so no excuses!  Go WORKOUT!  Why? Because you will thank me later (and yourself too)!  Plus, your physical and mental health will be happier as well!


Find your “happy workout” :)

Find your “happy workout” :)

What is a “happy workout”?  A “happy workout” is finding a routine or exercise that you are tremendously passionate about and love so that you can enjoy your workout and what it has to offer you!  One important thing to remember about being consistent with your workouts is making sure you have a workout routine or exercise that you look forward to rather than dread.  The key to being consistent is trying different workout routines and exercises and finding one you feel comfortable with, works the part of the body you want to improve, and makes you look forward to working out.  For example, you might consider zumba classes, cross training classes, walking, running, swimming, yoga, etc.  Once you find an exercise or routine that you enjoy, stick with it.  Don’t feel like you need to change it, especially if you are considering changing to a routine or exercise you don’t like to do.  You are far more likely to give up or not follow through if you don’t like your workout, leaving you frustrated and stressed.

If you become bored with your workout and no longer look forward to it, you know it is time to change it and find something new to keep you going.  You don’t have to keep the same workout every day or every week, but I do suggest that you find a workout routine or exercise that makes you look forward to it.  This will encourage you to workout each day and increase your chances of seeing success.  It may be a workout routine that lasts 2 years or it may be a workout routine that lasts 2 months, but either way it is to your advantage to not only find something you love, but something you love with a passion.  It can be something as simple as jumping rope, a routine you do with an app on your smartphone, a YouTube video, or a routine of pictures you found online.  No matter what it is, if you enjoy it and find it to be something that helps you relieve stress and break a sweat, then you have found “your” workout.  A workout that you have a passion for and look forward to doing sometime during your day.

So, get EXERCISING, have fun, and make sure you LOVE it!  If you don’t love it, then ditch it and find something new (such as some of the options above)!


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