Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lesson Three: Be Flexible

When we decided to run, I mentally set up a training plan to prepare. Each week I would run a minimum of three runs: a 6 mile, a 4 1/2 tempo run, and a 3 mile sprint. On the off days, I would bike, walk, use the elliptical machine, or easy runs. My strategy worked. While I could not always determine the day of the run, I made sure each facet was accomplished sometime throughout the week. I felt prepared. I set a finish time goal, that I thought was doable. I was ready!

Race day came and everything went out the window. I wasn't prepared for the hills or climbs, nor all the other inconveniences of the morning. As I was running, I mentally changed my goal. There was no way I was going to be able to meet it, so I needed to adjust my thinking. I needed to be flexible, look at my performance, and adjust "on the run."

That's how it is everyday at school. I have a mental game plan of how I want the year to go, when units will be taught, how my classroom will run, and what outcomes I hope to achieve. It's a flexible plan because my treasures may chart a different path. Their thinking may take us off in another direction and I need to be ready for that change. I tend to not get hung up with the little details because in the grand scheme, they have little value. But, the conversations, the thinking, the big questions, and inquiry of my treasures: that is what makes my classroom thrive. Like a rubber band, be Flexible!

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