My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
It certainly can be tricky to maintain an attitude of gratitude when life gets busy and the demands on you appear greater than your ability to handle them. In the past few weeks I have been scrambling to pull together quality sub plans to cover five days of absences in addition to building two new courses as I go (and with a new textbook). I am not usually one to rest on my laurels when it comes to teaching, but I haven’t even been able to yet this year. It’s been a rush, but never boring. I am grateful that my job is never boring: I think that’s why I’ve lasted so long while still enjoying it.
The sub plans were needed because I have had some great opportunities for professional development recently. The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) training took place over two days last week and I really got a lot out of it. It is grounded in statistics, which I love, but also has great potential for putting the data and its meaning into the hands of each individual student, giving them ownership over their own academic growth. I truly believe that the best way to get students engaged is to enable them to be a part of the planning, and to make it personal for them. I am both excited for the potential and grateful that such options exist for our learners.
This week’s training involves the Tri-Association Conference set to take place in San Jose, Costa Rica. I will attend the Pre-Conference Program and I am really looking forward to this, though I do think it is a long way to go for only two days and three nights. It brings to mind the theory of travel enjoyment and how a ten days is the minimum vacation length needed to reduce the impact of travel anxiety on the overall experience. Still, I am grateful both for the opportunity to be a student yet again so close on the heels of last week’s PD, and for the opportunity to see Costa Rica, though I am sure it will just be a taste of the country. The hotel we are staying at looks wonderful, and the conference is there too, so I am also grateful for the convenience factor built in to this short trip.
I went for my final long distance training run this morning as my half marathon is next week on October 12. Frente frio #5 went through town two days ago, and as a result the morning air is fresh and crisp, almost Canadian in how it feels on the skin. As such, I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed today’s run for the first time in a long time. Maybe all of my junk runs were a side effect of the intense heat and humidity we’ve had here of late? I am grateful that I had a chance to run in fresher air to remind me that runs can be fun and invigorating.