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13 Signs That Teaching And Running Are Totally Related

The more time I spent in a Kindergarten classroom this past spring, the more I found connections between teaching and running.

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1. Comfy shoes are a must.

Poor shoe choices running or dress shoes will leave you in a world of hurt. Can you say blisters? Too bad I can’t teach in my beloved Brooks everyday. You better believe that I will be wearing a retired pair of running shoes with my school shirt and jeans on Friday.

2. You will be on your feet a lot with little to no down time, get used to it.


This is where being a runner comes in handy. You have no problem pacing the classroom to help students, you actually have a hard time sitting still which is perfectly okay since you have very few opportunities to do so.

3. People will tell you that you are crazy.


You like to wake up at 5am to squeeze in a 5 mile run before working with 25 Kindergarteners? Some idea of fun you have. Sadly, you wouldn’t have it any other way. Which brings me to my next point.

4. You are a master at writing plans: running and lesson plans.


You know the importance of carefully crafting a lesson plan or training plan, but know that you have to be flexible. You never know when it will rain throwing off your long run or when you have to attend a last minute meeting and have to leave a sub in charge. It's not the end of the world if you can't follow your plan word for word, it's there to aid your teaching not be concrete plans you must follow.

5. Tying shoelaces is an art.


The Kindergarteners I was with this spring played a game. How many times can they untie their shoes before I figure out they are doing it on purpose. I probably tied 14 shoes a day. As runners we have our own wild way of lacing our own shoes. It's actually quite the debate.

6. You understand the importance of staying hydrated and nourished.


You give the kids snack time because you didn't want them to see you eating every 2 hours to avoid a case of the hangries (hungry and angry = hangry). As a runner you plan out, down to the very minute when to take your gels, PB sandwich or whatever candy strangers are handing out. Water is your friend, drink it. Lots of it.

8. There will always be critics of your passions.


People will tell you running is bad for your knees or that you will never find a teaching job. They may or may not be right. It only matters if you choose to listen to them. They won't decide your fate, you will. Sign up for that marathon you have been dreaming of. Take the substitute position to start with. You never know where it will lead, but letting others tell you what to do will get you nowhere.

9. Children's work never fails to put a smile on your face.


Whether it's a page from a coloring book the student colored just for you or a funny race sign a three year old made for their mom, they equally bring joy to your heart. And a good laugh.

10. You have to believe in yourself.


Taking a full time teaching job can be a scary task. Lucky for you, you will be surrounded by experienced teachers who were in your shoes at once. Take their advice. Worried about signing up for your first marathon? Find a running group with experienced runners who will help you reach your goal. First step to being successful in the classroom and training for a marathon is learning to be more confident.

11. Have fun with it!


Whether it's crafting a day full or Dr. Seuss related learning or doing a fun run with your mom, take time to enjoy the little things. Not every part of life has to be about aligning to the Common Core or getting the fastest 5K time. Simply do something because it makes you happy.

12. It will change your life.


You are impacting your students' lives whether you see it or not. Taking the extra time to give them words of encouragement can go a long way. Running gives you the ability to not only distress but also take a different outlook on life. You will be surprised what new paths running and teaching will take you down.

13. At the end of the day: chances are you will be exhausted.

It could be from that 3 mile at race pace or it could be standardized testing week and your students pushed you to your limits. But here's one thing I know no matter how tired you are at the end of the day you will still wake up in the morning and do it all over again because you could not imagine your life without teaching or running.

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