Setting the pace

As I sit to write this beautiful Saturday evening, I can’t help but think back over the course of the past month.  How is it that the first month of school has already vanished?  We’ve already completed several assignments, we’re about to begin our first novel, start MEAP-ing and fall weather is finally rolling in.  I suppose that juggling the roles of wife and mother would make even my time as a teacher seem to go faster, so adding cross country assistant, writing project fellow and church worship team singer probably adds the detail necessary to understand my surprise.

In any case, this first month has reminded me why I love what I do and why I feel that it’s so important to keep doing my job.  Just as I’m learning by working with the middle school runners, it’s so important to set and maintain a comfortable pace.  As a novice runner, I’m starting to find my “groove” – the speed at which I feel like I could run forever.  Once I find it, I settle in and enjoy the adventure. 

Even with a steady pace, there are crucial moments when a runner needs to step up and devour more ground.  Starting strong.  Finishing hard.  Taking advantage of the downhill.  These are all strategies I’m learning and sharing with these young runners.  And it’s amazing the parallel I’m finding within the classroom.  There are times when we need buckle down and cover some ground; other days we’re loose and laid back, considering our surroundings.  And still others, our muscles ache, we feel the pain and we have to decide whether to push through the pain, round that next corner to see the fans cheering us on toward the finish line, or give in to the frustration, succomb to the difficulty and give up.

I’m in it for the long haul.  Slow and steady or fast and furious, we’ve set an adequate pace to sustain us in our learning this year!  For my student readers…..are you in it with me?

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