Yesterday, I embarked on a new adventure when I attempted my first run of any kind.
A mud run.
The Dirty Girl Mud Run.
Yes, I jumped in mud, ran in mud, crawled in mud, and fell into mud. Many times during this muddy romp, I asked myself what I was doing. (My husband had asked this same question many times in the two months since I registered.)
I was completely out of my comfort zone.
And having a blast!
Here's what I learned:
· I don't step out of my comfort zone as often as I should.
· Laughing at myself through struggles makes them easier to handle.
· It feels liberating to try something you never thought you could.
· Risks and new experiences are more enjoyable with friends.
· Completing a challenging task is an incredible feeling, and can be addicting.
· I would actually sign up for another run (maybe even next year's Dirty Girl).
These self-realizations mirror the type of classroom environment I want for my students.
Every day should present an opportunity for my students to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. As often as possible, my students and I need to laugh at the humorous moments along our learning path, especially at our failures. We all need to appreciate and celebrate our efforts, and not just the perfect final product. I want my classroom community to support each other, despite different opinions or experiences. Everyone has something to learn from each other, including me learning from them. My students need to believe that trying again and again is worth it. Learning from failed attempts has merit. In addition, once they have reached one goal, I want my students to feel the desire to tackle another one.
Yesterday, it was just a mud run to many at the event.
However, to me it was a realization that I am a better person and teacher when I step outside my normal.
When I take risks and push through.
When I fall down in the mud and when I surprise myself (and family) by scaling the wall or running up the obstacle instead of climbing.
When I feel proud of the mud covering my body as proof of my accomplishment.
When I am excited to feel that way again.
My students don't know it yet, but they'll be doing many mud runs with me this year.
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