Since getting married, my husband has been encouraging me to run with him. Running has never been something I have been inclined to do, nor is it something I particularly enjoy, but I have been keeping up an intense schedule of going three miles and gradually working on running more and more of it. Currently I am at the halfway point.
While I was out the other day, I began thinking about how running is like learning, especially for students who begrudgingly learn (as I run). As well as getting in better shape, I am also getting a better perspective of how students sometimes think.
For students to whom learning does not come naturally, going to school each day is a struggle. Just as rolling out of bed can be a challenge when I am not motivated to run. Blake encourages me when my motivation is low, just as a teacher and other peers need to support each student in the classroom.
The classroom, then, should be a safe zone, where students can feel free to "fall while running" and know that they will be supported by the rest of the classroom. The classroom should be a place where students can help others grow and push themselves to reach places in which they feel are unreachable. But that task is much more difficult, if not impossible, without all students knowing that the classroom is a safe zone where we can be free to grow as learners and as individuals.