The Two-Step of Teaching…and Running

These days I’m doing a dance with October 15, 2017 – when I’ve signed up to run a whole bunch of miles in a row.

The dance I’m doing has two steps:

  1. If I don’t put enough miles under my feet now, I’ll never build up my stamina in time for October.
  2. If I put too many miles under my feet now, I’ll hurt myself and never be ready for October.

It’s a constant back-and-forth on my mind every time I run.

This is the perennial two-step of teaching, too.

If I don’t push my students hard enough, will they have acquired the skills they need by June?

If I push my students too hard, will they burn out and quit?

A teacher’s job, though, is at least 26.2 times more complicated – by the number of students in your classroom. Each of them is preparing their own marathon, and the teacher is in ultimate charge of pacing and training.

Every morning  I check my calendar–did I run far enough?–and I check my joints–did I run too far?

Every day teachers ask the same. Did they learn enough? Did I push too hard?