Thursday, March 15, 2012

8th Grade Rocks!

My fitness presentation to the 8th graders today went well, or at least I thought it did. You’d have to ask them if you really want a true opinion. I personally had a blast. I love this age group. In fact, 8th grade was one of my favorite years, so maybe I am just trying to revisit my youth.

Truthfully, when I do stuff like this (which I hardly ever do, so I don’t know what I’m talking about), it really makes me think I want to be a teacher. I love the school and classroom environment. I love the kids. LOVE.

The only hard part about today was that I had to do four 30 minute presentations on the same thing, one after another. I was so sick of myself at the end and I’m sure the “real” teachers were even more sick of me. I wore a tech shirt with jeans and Danskos (not pictured), which I’m sure is a complete fitness fashion faux pas. But, I was trying to look half-fit, half-mom.

P1120161

Hey look! A picture NOT taken on the stairs!

My goal for this presentation was to tell my own story and to encourage kids to be active, starting now. After I introduced myself, I showed this little video I made:

At the end of the video there was this exchange. Every.single. time.

Me: So, what is the point of the video? What is the message here?
Student: Uhh…to shut up and run?

Kids these days. Brilliant.

I let them know that it’s a habit to start early on. It doesn’t have to be running, bit can be Zumba or kickboxing or playing kick the can. Just move. Because it will level out your stress, it will provide you with health benefits. Trust me, you want to have this habit in place as you get older, fatter, etc. Some kids looked slightly glazed over, but I know I changed their lives. They just didn’t show it.

I only got in trouble a couple of times when I said something about drinking beer and eating nachos in college. Oh, and maybe that little part at the end of the video about the woman “not liking guys,” but Sam made me put that in there and I do everything he tells me.

I have no clue if they heard one thing I said beyond the fact that the fastest mile is 3:43 and that some ultra runners get their toenails removed. I also showed a picture of my Morton’s toe and that might have scarred them for life. But, I felt good about myself and I got the best feedback from Sam:

Mom, lots of kids loved it. They said you were awesome.

Plus, I get a Starbucks gift card for being there. I would eat my boogers for a Starbucks gift card. I am cheap that way.

If you are a teacher, tell me the truth: how do you like your job?

What was your favorite grade in school? Why?

SUAR

48 comments:

  1. I teach 8th grade and love it...most of the time. :)

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  2. Loved the video! I wondered how you were going to work farting into the spiel : ) Good job.

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  3. Love the video! And I used to teach 8th grade- my favorite age.

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  4. Ditto what Karen said...most of the time I love it! The times I don't are basically few and far between.

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  5. Oye. I HATED 8th Grade!!! My sister is a teacher and loves it most days. PS: I'm a Starbucks barista :)

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  6. That is so cool! I always wondered how those videos were made.

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  7. You are more than welcomed to come and speak to my 7th graders!!

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  8. oh that was awesome. I did love the " I don't even like guys" bit.

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  9. Hahaha! There's a fart in the video. Love it!!!

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    1. It would be so unlike me to not include a fart! It's my legacy!

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  10. I'm not a teacher but I'm a high school & middle school nurse; after spending many years as a surgery nurse I took a job as a school nurse, to be at home more with my youngest son; I had no idea how the school systems ranahoy the inner working of the schools. I appreciate teachers more and I think teachers have the HARDEST job ever! I applauded them an think they should make more money! Thank you to all teachers who teach our kids!

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  11. I was a high school math teacher for 27 years and LOVED EVERY MINUTE!! I'm retired now and thinking about going back into the classroom in a private school next year (I get bored easily!) I really miss the kids and teaching!

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  12. The Morton's toe wouldn't phase them at all. Try your "saggy ass" and that might do it. Or it would turn them on, who knows?

    Then you don't want to know work gave me two, count 'em TWO starbucks cards. I gave them to my office roomie because she drinks starbucks and I don't. Or at least not by choice.

    I would hate to teach kids. They would hate it too, for as long as they were able to have emotions. None of them were my favourite. I hated school. The only reason I went is that I'd be beaten if I stayed home.

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    1. Are you drinking wine tonight?

      Your last paragraph alone makes me want a drink.

      Saggy ass is way worse than the toe.

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  13. I am an 8th grade teacher and every day is an adventure. One of my classes in particular would especially love the fart in the video because two of the boys are actually on "farting plans." I kid you not, I even had them sign a fart contract that is pinned up in my room.

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    1. Seriously??? So what exactly is involved in a fart plan? I think I need one.That is hysterical.

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    2. The boy agreed to excuse himself just outside of the classroom to avoid causing a commotion in class. Needless to say the whole situation is still quite the commotion...oh middle school boys!

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  14. OMG...I loved your video!
    I liked my teachers, and I liked learning, but I was bullied from 7th grade on, so I can't say that I really "liked" school. And it's a shame, because it influenced my decision not to go to college. I thought college would just be a continuation of the crap I dealt with in high school.

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  15. I am a 5th grade teacher and LOVE my job. Every day is filled with laughter (I didn't say every minute!!) and the kids still think I am kind of cool!

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  16. I'm a 2nd grade teacher in Boulder Valley. I think you know what that means...Silicone Valley of Colorado. I've done this for 7 years, and have coached high school cross country for 3 seasons. It's freaking tough. I don't care what "they" say but despite the summers off, we still don't get paid enough. The demands are endless. And they are becoming near to impossible for teachers to meet. But...this is what I do. These are the kids I cry about. Would I try something else? Sure as hell I would. But I'd miss crying over my kids.

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    1. You make some great points. It is profession that so many people are drawn to, for good reason - but the pay is so lacking and the demands are so high. Wish there was more of a balance.

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  17. I taught in St.Vrain for 6 years and loved teaching! But, I took a leave of absence this year to work on my master's full time. I was burnt out from being the young "yes" teacher who coached, advised, taught AP and found herself on every single committee. I miss the kids, but not necessarily the school.

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  18. I know that shirt-- Athleta Iron Girl last year, yes?!

    (Was that not the takeaway from this post?)

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  19. I just learned two nights ago that my freakish long toe has a name. I love that I've heard the term "morton's toe" twice in 48 hours now. Thank you!

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  20. I work in special ed. at a high school. The best job, ever. Kids have no filters and give it to you straight. They also love abundantly and don't yet know what they're capable of. I get to work with the same kids throughout their four years in high school and it's so amazing to watch them grow. Pay sucks, but that was never the reason I wanted to teach.

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  21. I teach middle school and love the age group!! But having to repeat the same lesson over and over in one day can get boring

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  22. oh Beth, teaching is the BEST job around IMO. I was so in love with my job. Nothing beats the relationships you build with kids who come to trust you and it is so rewarding to teach what you are passionate about and get them passionate about learning. LOVE!!! It is a job that just keeps on giving and I would do it without Pay perhaps. Or very little of it. Oh wait, that is what teachers get. Kidding. I think they get paid just fine.

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    1. Well, pay is all relative really. I think they could surely be paid more but some teachers out there don't deserve half of what they make and get twice as much as another teacher who is so much better and worthy just because of where they are at in the pay scale. Sucks. An entirely different issue. There are a few really crappy teachers out there. But some really extraordinary ones too and that would be you!

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  23. That is the best video ever! Hilarious and I love the part about her not liking guys. Sam is a smart kid.

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  24. I loved and hated school. I was the "nerdy" kid so I was bullied a lot and generally felt like I didn't fit. Unlike one of the previous comments, that made me look forward to college as I felt like I'd finally "fit" because being smart would be a "good" thing - which was generally true though I was humbled to find out I was no longer the "smart" kid. LOL But I definitely had teachers along the way (in various grades) that made school tolerable because I loved the actual act of learning. Loved the video. Way to rock the kids world.

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  25. Great job! I love that you went in and talked about fitness. Sometimes it helps coming from someone besides the teacher. And you probably did make a difference is some of those kids' lives.

    I really did love teaching and only stopped to be a stay at home. The interacting with the kids and the actual teaching part was great. But there were a lot of frustrating things about it. Kids not doing homework, not caring, parents not caring, administration preaching about raising standards but then not backing you up when you try to do that. And, if you want to be a good teacher it is a lot of work. I would get to school at 6:30 and leave at 4:30 most days. I would then go home and grade and plan all night. I would also spend a lot of time on the weekends grading and planning. It was a lot of work. Sure you get the summer off, which is great but trust me you make up for that time during the year! I was going to go back to teaching next year but budget cuts are making that not very likely (another frustrating thing about teaching!!).

    Great job again and I loved the video. Going was a real gift for the kids and that teacher!

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  26. Mine was 8th grade as well! But I never really had a tough grade.

    I love that you did this for kids. I think it is so important nowadays to stress getting out and doing some sort of physical exercise. I wish my school had done something like this and brought in speakers.

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  27. I taught 6th and 8th grade science in New York City for two years. I don't have the patience and nurturing personality to teach kids and deal with the BS bureaucracy that is the public school system. (On top of a hundred other things, I was attacked by a student, and he was put right back into my classroom the next day.)

    I still like teaching, and still love science. I make a better interpretive park ranger than I do a classroom teacher.

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  28. I'm a middle school Latin teacher, and I love my job.
    The 8th graders are my favorites, because you can *almost* talk to them like adults, but their thinking is still so imaginative.

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  29. HAHA!!!!!! Shut up and run.. that's funn. What a great thing you did for them I love it!

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  30. I'm a high school teacher and I LOVE my job!

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  31. My husband and I have been teaching overseas for almost 12 years, great gig!!! We often wonder why more teachers don't pack up and head overseas.....great perks (housing, flights, kid tuition, professional development) plus you get to travel, experience the "real" culture and meet and get to know amazing educators. We love our job and the students and parents we work with. Both our kiddos were born in China and now we are loving life in Venezuela. We are saving a ton and together all the time, it's ideal.

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  32. I am a fourth grade teacher and love my job. I always say to myself, "why doesn't everyone want to be a teacher?" I especially say that on Spring Break, Christmas Break, Summer Vacation, Snow Days..... hahaha you get the idea. But really I do love teaching everyday :)

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  33. I teach 8th grade, so I love this. Most days, I love them. Most other days, I want to strangle them.

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  34. Favourite grade in school would have to have been 12. It's a power thing really. And that was a year of personal success - where I achieved stuff that I thought was unachievable for me.

    Happy I'm not a teacher though, when I spend time with my teacher friend.

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  35. Seriously, some ultra runners remove their toenails? Gross! How are you supposed to get a great pedi? I love that you are encouraging kids to be active. I'm sure you were hilarious and very motivational. Have a great weekend!

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  36. Best. Video. Ever! I bet it really went over well with 8th graders, love it! You seriously are the coolest mom.

    My favorite "grade" was pre-school because you got to take naps, plenty of recess breaks, and snacks.

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  37. I teach 7th and 8th grade science and I LOVE my job! The kids are hilarious and even when they're evil, at least I have a good story to tell when drinking wine over the weekend!

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  38. I love the video..that is so cool :)

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  39. I think you're an amazing athlete and role model, so take this with a grain of salt. The part of the video about fitting into your designer jeans seems really inappropriate for 8th grade girls. At that age, they should be learning how exercise can make you feel strong and be proud of what your body is capable of- not that running will make you skinny so you can fit into designer jeans. While you have an amazing sense of humor, I would be careful assuming 8th graders have the cognitive capacity to match your maturity.

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  40. I am 8th grade counselor this year at my middle school. I absolutely love 8th graders! I can relate to what the kids said when you asked what the point of the video was- "to Shut up and Run?" Ha, ha, ha! Hope you get to do more presentations. Kids love humor!

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  41. Your video was amazing!

    I teach 8th grade in the Bronx. I LOVE it... every single aspect of teaching it. It's very easy to relate to the kids, and especially for me, being only 22, I can clearly remember going through similar things that they are going through right now. I can talk to them on a intellectual, semi-adult level, and they can always talk to me about anything. They are funny, witty, smart and sassy. I love being a teacher!

    My favorite grades were 8th grade and sophomore year though. Do you do presentations in high schools too?

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