Principal's Message, 10/4/2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 10:02pm

Coinciding with the start of this new school year, I made the decision to run my first half-marathon.  I do not consider myself naturally athletic and the only race I have run in recent years was the Addison 5K last Spring.  However, when invited to join "Team Addison" (there are a few teachers and parents also running this race), I thought my profession is committed to ongoing learning and growth so I should model what I teach.

During the past nine weeks of training, I've found many similarities between my personal journey preparing for this race and what I see everyday with our students.  First,perseverance is a disciplined mindset.  Last Saturday, I ran eight miles for the first time.  In two weeks, my training program requires a ten mile run which is as far as I'll go before the 13.1 miles on October 18th.  Building stamina through increasing my distance has not been easy and as I'm out on the trails, I've recognized a mental battle of whether I keep running or let myself walk.  I eventually realize that there is no physical reason that I need to walk and that it's my mind creating doubt that I can keep up my pace.  Therefore, I keep running and surprise myself as I increase my distance week after week.

Three weeks ago, I strained a muscle and had to walk the last couple miles.  The second lesson I learned was that in our journey of growth, there will always be setbacksbut we need to find different ways to address the setbacks.  Through the advice of my running friends, I now have a foam roller, athletic tape to cover the muscle, and am taking a yoga class once per week.  Perhaps this is not what all new runners require throughout their training but these are the accommodations that work for me.

Third, I've experienced that in order to learn something new, the encouragement and praise of my support group has been imperative.  They have not questioned or judged me on how fast my times have been or how my training compares to those around me.  They simply point out the progress I have made and send words of encouragement before my long runs on Saturdays.  

Overall, the most important lesson I've learned is to appreciate the experiences leading up to the race on Oct. 18th.  I may need go slower up some of the hills or average a longer pace but when I wake up that morning and stand next to the other participants at the start line, I hope to only feel pride, joy, and a sense of accomplishment for the commitment that came twelve weeks prior.  As we look back at the start of the school year and the achievements of our students during August and September, I hope we can celebrate the transition to a new grade level, teacher, classmates, expectations, and curriculum.  All of the students differ in their knowledge, skills and abilities but it is our job as educators and parents to honor, create, and guide a path for each child that is personal and supportive so the journey of learning is as important as the outcome.

Amanda Boyce
Addison, Principal

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