Archive for September, 2012

Power of Bribary

Posted in Off on a Tangent with tags , , on September 25, 2012 by activerunner

I am in a state of shock right now.  I honestly can’t believe it!  I am a junior high health teacher and am currently sitting at the back of my worst class behavioral wise, listening to my guest speaker teach in complete silence.  My students are never this quiet, EVER!  They are all sitting quietly at their desk, no one is out of their seat, they aren’t making smart alec remarks, and they constantly look back at me to make sure that I know they are behaving!  Because they know, that i know that they are never this well behaved.  So I just stare back in disbelief. 

Yes, I had a nice long discussion with my class about being respectful for when the guest speaker comes and yes, I did bribe my class by teling them that I would bring some kind of treat if they behaved.  I also told them that if they didn’t behave they would be in BIG TROUBLE.  Quite the threat right?  So is their beavhior a result of a possible reward? Or was it my well thought out threat.  I think it’s the first. The power of a bribary is absolutely amazing.  If you can find something people really want you can probably get them to do just about anything to get it.  I just didn’t think students were so easily bribed with candy. Well, they are junior high students…. what else could they possibly want in life?

So what I have learned as a teacher is that rewards systems work, it just has to be the right reward.  Candy works wonders for students!  But I have a dllemma… this is a health class… and candy is not particularly healthy.  Should I try giving them carrots instead? I think sometimes you have to make sacrafices and I will gladly sacrafice their health if it means behavioral change.  I’d much rather have my students fat and quiet than skinny and abnoxious.  I’m totally kidding of course….  But I can’t say i’m not enjoying the peace and quiet…. in a class full of 8th graders.  Who would have thought this could happen?  I am still sitting in disbelief.

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Change

Posted in Off on a Tangent with tags on September 17, 2012 by activerunner

In One moment you’re running the familiar. You know every street, every turn, every hill. Your pace is strong and quick with a sense of confidence and comfort.  but you are growing tired, bored, and you want more.  You see potential and want to go where you were meant to.
The next moment you are suddenly running the unfamiliar. Your pace slows with a sense of fear as you enter the unknown. What will await you on the streets, turns, and hills of uncertainty?  Is this what you wanted?  To continually improve and conquer goals not yet conquered.  Hardships and setbacks arrive, but you venture forward because complacency doesn’t become you.  Or are you content with living stagnant?

So keep running from one moment to the next! The unfamiliar will eventually become familiar. If led into uncertainty you can only end up certain of something. Your pace will quicken, your stride will lengthen, your confidence will return.  You have unlimited potential that can take you where you are meant to… but you decide where you are meant to end up.

Sense of Pride

Posted in Races with tags , , , on September 8, 2012 by activerunner

So we had our second meet for cross country this passed wednesday and I was shocked by what I saw.  The girls JV race was first, and that is what all four of our girls run.  We have four girls, twenty one boys… good odds for the girls I guess.  Anyway, while watching the girls race I saw more than one girl from our team as well as from others stop in the middle of the race and start walking!!  Am I the only one that finds this appalling? This was the city/county meet!  We are not at a swimming pool.  Run, Don’t walk!!  Where is their sense of pride?

I don’t know about other people but for me walking in a timed race is not an option.  This is a race and it is only three miles!  I mean official practices have been ongoing for two weeks now.  What is the point of all that running in practice if you have nothing to show for it at the race?  I’m sorry if i sound harsh, but cross country runners should be able to run the entire three miles without stopping.  If they can’t they are obviously walking and slacking off in practice.  This definitely gives meaning to the words,”You play how you practice.”  Or in this case, “you walk how you don’t run….”  It made sense in my head.  I don’t know why anyone would want to run cross-country if they were just planning to walk during a meet.

The real shocker was not that girls were walking in the middle of the race, but that they would walk the finsihing stretch of the race! They were walking the last hundred!  The finish line is so close, it’s within sight, and not to mention where all the fans are sitting.  (and when I say fans I mean the 5 parents in the stands)  That is just embarrassing.  Are you that out of shape that you can’t run accross the finsih line?  Come on girls you are giving us a bad name.  I hate it when guys think they can say things like, “you run like a girl.”  But now I see why they feel they can say it.  Now, I know not all girls are this way.  There were girls who ran in this meet in under twenty minutes, which is faster than a lot of the guys times, but still I hardly ever see the guys walking in a race.  I guess you could say guys are naturally more prideful than us girls.  🙂

I blame it on a lot of things.  First of all a lot of kids today are out of shape and lazy and this includes the boys.  I can see a huge difference in the athletic ability of kids from when I was in high school to now, and high school was not that long ago for me.  They just don’t want to put the work in, and cross country requires a lot of hard work and I mean a lot.  Second, they don’t have a competitive drive.  I find comparing the boys races to the girls quit funny.  The boys have a lot more of a competitive edge.  There is always more than one elbow thrown in a boys long distance race.  I see boys cutting each other off, tripping one another,  and every once in a while a fight will break out in the middle of the course.  The girls, however, run a completely different kind of race.  They cheer for the people passing them up.   “Here, go ahead and pass me…no you pass me…no you!”  Now if someone passes you in a race, sure encourage them.  Thats great.  But are you going to let someone pass you with out a fight?  Not that kind of fight boys.  Obviously throwing elbows is not a good thing, but you should run to keep your standing.  You should run to win.  

Third, they have no sense of pride, no sense of accomplishment.  They don’t want it and I can see it in their eyes.  The race is to test your limits, to test your strength.  It’s supposed to be hard!  Don’t you want to show your team, your coach, your fans, and most importantly yourself what you can do?  Don’t you want to run a personal best?  If the answer is no, then I don’t know how you find motivation to run in the first place.  If the answer is yes, then it should be more than a walking effort.  Now I had a lot of the same characteristics of these girls in high school.  I didn’t like the hard work.  I was lazy, but I did have an extremely large competitive drive, still do.  When running a meet I wanted to pass people and I wanted to beat the one girl on Layton High’s team that was faster than me.  She’d beat me In every meet up to our last invite, which i finally passed her up.  That was my fastest race as well as my last.  After that I quit.  I honestly wish I was more like I am now, then.  But I can say, however, that I never walked in a race.  I had way too much pride for that.