Staying in Shape Professionally – 1

There has always been that old question about staying in shape if it is more important to have a good diet or good exercise. Which is the most important and in what relationship to each other are they?

I have slowly learned that for me it’s 90% diet and 10% exercise. That’s for me, though. Others may have far different percentages. I haven’t been able to exercise at all in India because of all the cows in the street and because of the hazardous (no hyperbole on the use of that word) air.

I find that as long as I eat enough rice and dal and veggies I don’t miss the exercise as much. That doesn’t mean that when I get back to Denver I’m not going take my blue Klein Aura V out for some serious miles in those mountains that I miss so much right now.

What about staying in shape as a teacher, keeping one’s mental health in spite of the tremendous odds against us that would reduce most administrators to a pulp of inefficiency curled up in the fetal position on the floor, and which most likely is why they became administrators in the first place?

Like Emeka who reports in with 180 students and five classes, which many of us have and is not even as bad as the numbers that many of our other PLC warriors have to experience every day, against all reason and research and professional decency.

My answer to the above ratio changes in that respect when I start thinking about what can keep me in shape professionally. For me the secret to staying in shape as a teacher changes to 5% exercise, 45% diet, and 50% loving the kids beyond what one can tolerate.

Some would say, “Oh there goes Ben again, off to LaLa Land of impossible things to do. Those kids are seething cauldrons of cheating, fear and mistrust with no hope in life. How can I love them beyond what I can tolerate?”

Maybe that is true. But I have found that TPRS doesn’t work unless I smile even if my heart be torn to bits, and to try to feel what my students are feeling at all times in my classrooms, extending my own broken hear to theirs in trust and gratitude that I have such good teachers to help me learn whatever it is that I am supposed to learn in this life.



2 thoughts on “Staying in Shape Professionally – 1”

  1. I just did a free write with my Spanish 1 students and one girl wrote about how she doesn’t like her classes, because all of her teachers seem sad and angry. However, she enjoys Spanish because Mrs. Fuller is always happy. She told me when a teacher is happy it makes her happy, so I truly believe that the energy and attitude we bring to class has a HUGE impact on how much the kids learn and how much they WANT to learn. Happy Friday!

    1. OK this is big. So big. Rant worthy big. But I won’t. I’ll just write what Polly said:

      ...all of her teachers seem sad and angry. However, she enjoys Spanish because Mrs. Fuller is always happy….

      Hello!!!!!!! That’s it!

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