20. Teachers who run (a mini-series) with Keila Merino

Okay, I get that this sounds like the set up for a corny joke, but what does teaching and running long distances have in common? Today I am launching a mini-series about teachers who run.

If you follow me on instagram, I have shared with you that I have been selected to be part of Team TCS Teachers and run the New York City Marathon.

When I was submitting my responses for the contest that put me on team TCS Teachers, I had to stop to pause to consider how my identity as a teacher influences my identity as a runner. What if the reason why I am a teacher and the reason why I am a runner spring from the same source?

In mini-series of episodes, leading up to the New York City Marathon on November 3rd, I am going to talk to teachers who run and how their running and teaching selves overlap. My goal is to talk to people whose experiences are intriguing, universal, and profoundly moving so that even if you are not a runner…or not in education…that you can hear yourself in their stories.

And that brings me to my first guest.

Keila Merino is not only a deeply impressive and well decorated ultra-runner, but she is also a teacher to young people in Queens, New York. Keila WON the Great New York Running  Exposition 100 mile race in 2012 (that’s about 161 km or 3.8 back to back marathons), came in second overall at the 50k Staten Island Trail Festival in 2014, and as placed top in her age category for many other races. In other words, she can run far and she can run FAST!

But more than just being a regular on the podium, Keila balances her running life with her profession in the classroom and uses her time running as fuel for her passion  helping young people fulfill their potential.

In this conversation, we talk about using running as a tool for self-reflection, the similarities between running your first marathon and your first year in the classroom, how to work through big set backs, and the importance of taking on big, audacious goals in our lives.

I so loved connecting with Keila about two things that I personally love and I hope that it resonates with you as well.

(Now would be a perfect opportunity to press play and listen to Keila!)

Personally, what I took out of this conversation is that if we are going to be highly effective teachers, we have to take time to do the things that we love. That might be running, but it might also be writing, gardening, cycling, spending time in the trees…whatever helps hit your reset button so you can be fully present with your students! And when we have big, juicy goals to work towards that we declare publicly…like writing your first book or running a marathon…or you know, running across a country…it can help teachers leave their marking for the next day and practice self-care!

If you know of a teacher who also runs, please share this episode with them…or better yet, connect with me with them on Instagram. Who knows, they just might be a future guest on our show.

That’s all the time we have for today folks…let’s go run the world, and remember we are teaching tomorrow.

 

Extra Fun Resources / Stuff Mentioned in This Episode:

Keila on Instragram
An article about Keila from The New York Times

About the Author
Passionate and curious about technology, smiles, special education, differentiated instruction, forests, graphic novels, accessibility, anti-oppression, and warm beverages. Can often be found laughing with young people and improvising songs on the spot. @teach_tomorrow

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