Today Matters » We Can Do This!

We Can Do This!

FinishStrongApril 22, 2019
Spring is here, on most days… when it’s not snowing in April. And, as a parent of Spring athlete… more specifically a track athlete, not only have I come to the conclusion that this time of year is really tough to be a spectator at, but I also gathered some valuable information about how to run a race as I observed student athletes and teams giving their all in competition.
Pick the right races for the right athletes.
I have watched strong runners be entered into field events where they are at a disadvantage competitively. Likewise, I have seen skilled field athletes running races that don’t tap into their greatest abilities. As educators, we need to set our students up for success by making sure we have “entered” them into the right “events.” We also need to capitalize on one of our most valuable resources, time, as a key component for growth and confidence, but often underutilized. As we skillfully select the right areas for our students to work in, we must allow them the time to learn how to be good at that particular skill. In a society that has become accustomed to instant results, this is a hard lesson for us to learn, but one that is so beneficial for our students. At District 142, we focus on each student as an individual instead of employing a cookie-cutter approach to learning.
Along the way, good coaching is worth more than its weight in gold.
Have you ever seen that frenzied parent yelling from the stands at an athlete? Often that kind of noise from the sidelines serves to distract and stress the athletes on the playing field and… can keep them from following their coach’s directives. On the other hand, measured insightful, pointed advice, at the right time, can help students achieve goals… whether in an athletic competition or in a classroom. At District 142, our teachers serve as our student’s instructional coaches, and thoroughly enjoy the support of our parents as educational partners in the process of ensuring each child reaches their best potential.
The momentum you start with needs to be sustainable.
WOW! That kid is FAST! I’ve seen this phenomenon at my son’s track meets, wherein a runner comes out of the gate, zooming past all the others, running at record-breaking speed. This paced is appropriate if the race is short, but I I have also witnessed some of those same athletes on the final laps of a long race, being unable to maintain that speed and find themselves being passed by nearly every other runner in the race. It made me think about our school year… for parents, staff, and students. We need to keep in mind that a school year is not a sprint, or a marathon…it’s kind of like a 400 meter run. The pace we set out of the gate needs to be one that is sustainable for the whole race, for the whole year. With approximately one month of school remaining, our mantra around the District has been to… finish strong, just like we started the year.
Through close relationships with our students and a knowledge of who they are as people, with good coaching available throughout the school year from our expert staff, and a pace that is aggressive, but sustainable. Forest Ridge District 142 has run an excellent race this year. We’ll see you at the finish line!