Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trimester 3

This week begins the final trimester of the 2011-2012 school year. It also brings two big changes for me: teaching high school health and coaching track and field. Day 1 was overwhelming and day 2 is getting better. At least it's getting better on the track after school.

I taught 9th grade health for two years on the block schedule. The block schedule stunk at the time - two periods smooshed together. Now, I would kill to have a block schedule. Or perhaps a period and a half. The kids seem to be pretty low in reading, which makes it hard to move through everything I need to get through in one class period.

I thought that teaching health would be a piece of cake - the regular health teacher has every day planned out throughout each unit during the trimester. Sweet! All I have to do is follow what she's doing every day. Um, no. She has so much jam-packed into each day that it is impossible for the kids to get everything done. I have at least four needy special ed students and no paras. Just to help the lower level kids would take me the whole hour.

I feel like I'm thrown into this classroom for a whirlwind 50 minutes and never get a chance to catch my breath. At the end of the hour I feel as if I've accomplished absolutely nothing. I never felt this way when I taught 9th grade health. I never even felt this way when I taught 6th and 7th grade health. I always had organization rule my classroom. I think to feel that organization again I need to put the kids in rows alphabetical order. There are chatty, low functioning kids in the back and that is not conducive to anyone's learning.

The other health teacher lets the kids pick where they want to sit. Then, depending on where they sit, they are put into groups of four for group work. I am not liking this group work schtick. The kids sit and talk and the ones that want to work and get things done do it and ignore the kids who aren't doing anything. The higher functioning kids shouldn't have to deal with the kids who are goofing around. Do your own work, get things done, be quiet. If a kid can't concentrate with his peers around him, remove him so he can get work done on his own. I've done this before and I'll do it again. If you can't handle group work, you go somewhere to work on it alone.

I need to feel comfortable in the classroom in order to even recognize which kids need to be separated. Right now I'm so frustrated and overwhelmed that I can't even conduct decent classroom management. I hate it! I'm debating eating lunch in the health room just so I can process what I need to go over that day in peace.

But then at the end of the day, things are not as bad as I thought they would be. Today was the second day of the track and field season and we were OUTSIDE! It was in the 60s and beautiful. Towards the end of practice it clouded over a little and became a little more windy. Today was a "hard and short" practice, which means tomorrow will be a "long and easy" day. The kids are going to be hella sore tomorrow. And yes, I just said "hella". We did a warm up, 30-yard acceleration/30-yard sprint/30-yard deceleration (about 10x), and then abs. The kids ran two laps around the track to warm up and then two laps of the track at the end of practice. For just the second day of practice, I feel sorry for the poor little 7th and 8th graders from the junior high!

There are a lot of coaches and while talking with one of the head coaches today, I was made to feel more at ease about my role as an assistant coach. Help out - do what they tell me to do - work with the junior high kids - keep it fun for them. I can do that. I can really do that for the amount of the stipend they are paying me. It's more than I received for tennis!

I was going to run my mile around the track after practice, but my capris were down in my office. So I decided to go back to Josh's and run my mile down Victory. I walked six minutes to my starting point and huffed and puffed to a 13:33 mile. It was about a minute faster than the first time I ran that mile so I'll take it. Tomorrow I'm planning to run my mile and then interval run 1 min run to 2 min walk on the way back. I'll work my way up to the 7k that I have to suffer through on Saturday. Hopefully I will be a little bit more ready for that feat after pushing myself this week.

I think it's going to be a much better week than I had originally thought - highs in the 70s, building up my running (huffing and puffing, aka the Byron Shuffle) tolerance, and hanging out on the track. Bring it on!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just a Crappy Day

I need to take my mind off of some things. So here goes it...

Friday Fun Facts

1. Yes I stole this from Katie. And I'm proud of it. She's crazy, but she's one of those crazies that I've known for a long, long time. And she ate my carrots. I am forever grateful to her.

2. I signed up for the Get Lucky 7k on 3/17/12. Yes, I signed up on my own accord and yes, it was partly for the sweet sweatshirt. I will only finish it bc there is beer at the end. I may also put my hair in pig tails and wrap them with green shamrocks.

3. I hope my "will run for beer" headband comes by next Friday. It will complete the outfit for Saturday.

4. The beer-drinking total for March is up to 6: Fulton's taproom has its grand opening tomorrow. They make one of my favorites, the Sweet Child of Vine. And today has been very emotional and since I can't get a pedicure, I'm going to have a beer with my pizza.

5. I lost -1.4 lbs this week. So I can eat above pizza. Suck it.

6. I chaperoned the "fan bus" to the Park Center girls' basketball team section playoff game tonight with two other staff members. Unfortunately, they lost to De La Salle by 10 pts.

7. I think I have an ulcer and a permanent hand print on my leg from my principal (female) who sat next to me during tonight's game. It was a tense, close game. We were both on the edge of our seats.

8. I'm having breakfast with Missy and Kelly tomorrow morning at Common Roots Cafe. Looking forward to some girl time.

9. I start teaching high school health on Monday and I'm kind of freaking out. I've taught 9th grade health for the past two years in Edina, but it's not like 10-12 health at Park Center.

10. I have about 1.5 weeks until I can no longer close on March 30. This stresses me out simply bc I want something to happen, like, yesterday.

11. I found out today that my real estate agent (Melanie) graduated from Park Center. Small world!

12. I wish I had brought my camera to the game tonight.

13. On Monday I also start coaching track and field. This also makes me nervous. Can I do this? Do I have enough experience? I'm definitely going to earn my stipend.

14. My computer is running slow. I do not have patience for this.

15. I had a fellow PE teacher correct my grammar today. That's how bad of a day I had.

Le sigh. Pizza is on its way. The night can only get better. Hope you had a good Friday!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Sometime in February one of those silly little inspirational posters popped into my head and got stuck. You know the one -

The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph.
I think it popped into my head as I was headed out to my car at the end of the day. Tired, lazy, just wanting to go home and sit on the couch and watch TV. And I thought about how easy it would be to simply get in my car and do just that. But to go to the gym would require that added "umph". I grumbled and groaned and eventually went to the gym. 

I always feel better after I go to the gym. It's the getting there that's hard. I'll jog/walk outside when it's in the 40s or warmer, but even that can become a chore. Little things will stop me - I forgot my heart rate monitor or my water bottle or my magazine - my iPod died. 

I know that if I put in the effort, I will most likely see the return (especially after a month like February...). In January I ate correctly and made sure I hit my exercise goals and 5 lbs melted away. I'm on a roll right now, but how long will that last? Can I keep up this momentum? 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

February Foibles

February didn't quite go as planned. I had a lot of activities planned for February, which got in the way of my weight loss goals.

Have fun at the Valentine's Day 5k. Don't worry about time. I did have fun! Even if it was 4F. I decreased my time from the Polar Dash.
Keep logging as much as possible in MFD. Yeah...that didn't happen.
Rollerblade at the Dome at least 2x. Didn't blade at all, but did schedule an outing. Everyone canceled on me and I think I decided to go out to eat instead.
Play tennis at least once. And don't be a chicken. I DID!!! I played! And my back stayed in one piece.
Read a book for Pete's sake. Still plugging away on The Devil in the White City. I'm really enjoying it, but I'm having a hard time making time to read.
Try to watch all of the Oscar-nominated movies on my list. (Tonight it's Drive.) I didn't watch all of them, but I'm still trying to catch them at the second run theater. Must see Hugo. 

Weight loss for February: +0.4 lbs

I had A LOT of fun in February. I took a serious look at my weight loss goals and I can still attain them, even if I completely wasted February. I'm ready to re-focus and get back on track for March. "Real life starts in March".

Limit drinking to 3-4 events: Lucke's birthday (Mar 3), St. Pat's (Mar 17), Firkin Fest (Mar 24), and possibly a Lagunitas beer dinner at Barrio (Mar 26).
Drink more water!
Do not die at my first 7k, the Get Lucky, on March 17th.
Finish Devil/White City.
Weight loss: - 5 lbs.
Get the short sale paperwork from the stupid bank!

My second favorite holiday is in March - St. Patrick's Day. Let's hope the luck of the Irish is with me this month! (And some hard work too...)