I go for a walk every day during 5th period, when my students are at lunch. I walk along the Mystic River for a bit, then turn back and return to school across the fields.
I started this habit last year and now can’t do without. It’s especially important on the first three days of the week, when my teaching schedule is heavier. In fact, I have come to suspect that the maintenance of my sanity depends on these midday walks.
There was light snowfall throughout yesterday and this morning, and I was enjoying walking through the accumulation, at least until I felt a crunch and my leg went up to the knee in ice water.
In retrospect, I obviously should have taken a step back. Instead, I kept staggering forward, hoping to get out. By the time I realized the expanse of the enormous frozen puddle, it didn’t matter whether I retreated or continued. When I emerged, my boots, and most of my pants, were soaked. The cold was absolutely shocking.
I stood there and thought: well, this is ridiculous. I have to teach in 17 minutes.
Now, I do keep an extra tie in my classroom. But not socks, shoes, or trousers.
So I ran – literally ran – to the parking lot, got in my car, drove home (NB at the speed limit – it helps that I live nearby), changed, and was back at my classroom in time to teach 6th period.
I’ll pause while you order me one of those “Teaching Is My Superpower” t-shirts.
Speaking of which, today I received the best Valentine ever: