You may have guessed this from the title, but I’m a runner. I started running almost 10 years ago after a friend invited me to participate in a local 10K. Since then, I’ve worked my way up to running several full marathons. I’ve even amassed quite the collection of honorary medals. You learn a lot when you become a distance runner, but if there is one thing I’ve come to appreciate, it’s that most races aren’t about speed, they’re about perseverance.
I bring this up because right now we’re all in the middle of a metaphorical marathon. Whether you’re a teacher making the transition to distance learning, or a parent helping their child keep curiosity alive, these last few weeks have undoubtedly been exhausting. To make matters worse, it can sometimes feel like there’s no end in sight for the closures and quarantine. Almost as if you’re jogging down a road but making no progress. Congratulations, you now know how it feels to run a marathon!
The good news is you’re not alone. Like any big race, the road ahead is going to be difficult, but there are things you can do to prepare. COVID-19 is not unbeatable. With the right training and techniques, we can persevere through these difficult moments until we finally cross the finish line. So, whether you’re a student, educator, or parent, here are a few tips for running the marathon:
Remember to Breathe
First and foremost, remember to breath. Steady breathing is one of the most important skills a runner can learn. Without ample oxygen, we can’t keep pace and eventually break down. The same is true for those of us who are working while under quarantine. What’s happening now is overwhelming, and there are a lot of new challenges demanding our time. While it’s tempting to try and continue as if everything were normal, this usually leads to burnout. Instead, remember to occasionally take a step back, relax, and just breath.
Believe it or not, a lot of thought goes into the clothing runners wear. Shoes that are comfortable but resilient. Shirts what provide plenty of circulation and won’t irritate the skin. These things can make a big difference in a long run. In the same way, equipping ourselves with knowledge can have a huge impact in how we handle COVID-19.
Virtual units like Blue Apple’s Prevent the Spread not only teach young learners how germs spread, but also encourage them to make a difference by creating their own public service announcements. The more we understand about staying healthy, the better we can protect our friends and communities from sickness.
Ask for Help
Running may not seem like a team sport, but runners actually rely on each other quite a bit. When you’re feeling sore, exhausted, and demoralized, it helps to have a teammate come up beside you with a few words of encouragement. There are also coaches who provide guidance, and doctors who can prescribe healthy meals. The resources are all there, you just need to ask.
What about those struggling with the transition to remote learning? Try reaching out and asking for assistance from likeminded peers. Tele-Teach is a free 30-minute consultation designed to help educators navigate the new virtual world of teaching. Each session is led by a project coach—friendly teachers who are experts in inquiry-based and project-based learning. There are no strings attached, they simply want help teachers and students thrive. None of us are in this alone, so let’s work to build each other up!
Finish the Race
We’ve still got a long way to go, but we can do this! As we make it from one mile-marker to the next, moment to moment, day to day, we begin to tackle each step with confidence and perseverance. Every marathon reaches its end eventually. So when that day comes, let’s look back with pride at what we were able to accomplish together!
We hope you are all staying healthy and safe! For more remote learning resources, check out these offerings at Blueappleteacher.org!
*Today’s image of Running the Marathon is brought to you from Wikimedia commons and the Chicago Marathon.