My frustrations with teaching and leadership often come from the amount of mental energy and worry I expend when concerned that folks won’t follow through. With Running Club, that happens when I worry that a) students won’t show up or b) the majority of the workout will be spent trying to coax those who are phoning it in or giving up.
Today I have been so swamped with already taking a 6:00 a.m. Btone class, doing IB exam administration, proctoring MCAS, and dealing with various IB items that I did not have the energy to do the Running Club workout. I thought of canceling because my co-coach was out today, but when I saw the group of six who showed up, I realized that they would do the run + strength training if given clear directions.
I told them “do the Mass Ave run in 13:30 [30 seconds faster than last week]” and come back for strength training. The portion on the river (which I asked them to do) is 1.9 miles. The warmup and cooldown from school to the river makes the total run about 3.2 miles. When they came back, out of breath and sweating, they reported that they did it in 13:21 (7:02/mile). They willingly did a modified Pumps & Iron workout (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of burpees + crunches + squats). I didn’t have to reprimand anyone for slacking once.
There was no worrying that the boys would start walking and come back 30 minutes late, get lost, or bail on the strength training. All I had to say was motivational stuff and countdowns for how many sets or reps they had left.
I think this is what it feels like to teach in a good school.