Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two New Things I've Tried this Year

It had been a while since I had run. I've been getting in a lot of miles by walking, but running was something that I hadn’t done in a while. Running in the winter usually happened on the weekends with my friend Karen, but due to scheduling conflicts, we had not been able to meet to do our usual 6 or 8 mile Saturday morning runs.

Winter is now gone, and the weather has been beautiful recently in Alabama. I’m currently leading a 21-day health & wellness challenge on Facebook which requires exercising every day, so today I decided to go for a run after school instead of going to get a manicure.

Loved the endless yellow flowers by the trail today!

It felt like coming home.

I don’t know if that’s a southern phrase, but running today reminded me comfort… of something that has a feeling of being “just right.”

When I run, my mind clears and I can reflect on so many parts of my life. The first mile is the hardest, and I truly think it’s because my mind is so used to being in GO MODE that it’s fighting the emptying that is about to take place. 

Tonight was little different, in that the first mile was refreshing. It was easy. It rejuvenated.

I’ve been experiencing writer’s block lately. I couldn’t figure out why. I think it’s because I haven’t been running. Walking has been great, but the physiological changes that happen during a run aren’t there during a walk, and I was reminded by today’s run the importance of making time and space for running.

This week, our blogging community members are writing about something new we’ve done this year. On my run, I had an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts and reflect on the school year. There have been several new things I’ve done, and a few more I want to do. Below are 2 NEW things that I've tried this year.

One major initiative has been the blogging community that CraigVroom and I started last summer.  We make weekly contact via email with the members, and we are continually in contact via twitter. The blog posts that I have read by the members have been incredible, and I feel like they have helped me grow personally and professionally throughout this school year.

Something else that I’ve tried this year that has been way out of my comfort zone was to lead a book study via Voxer. We read The Differentiated Classroom by Carol Ann Tomlinson, and I invited teachers at my school to be a part of it. We had three participants from outside of our school:  Jeff Zoul (Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning in Illinois), Neil Gupta (Director of Assessment for a district in Ohio), and Melinda Sears (a French teacher at a neighboring high school). I really enjoyed the experience, because it allowed me to give input, hear the input of others, reflect on what they said, go back and re-read and contribute to the conversation again.

Sometimes my mind gets full of ideas, and then I get caught up in the busyness of work and home and lose the ideas or don’t prioritize well.  Something new I'm trying is a new way to stay organized, which I’ll share in an upcoming post.

What NEW thing have you tried this year?

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